tv Public Affairs CSPAN March 5, 2013 1:00pm-5:00pm EST
in the last term of congress. so $1.6 trillion in spending cuts. which dwarfs the $600 billion, as significant as that is, the expiration of the bush tax cuts at the end of last year, but we need more revenue, and there is a place to get it. our distinguished speaker has said there is $100 billion in tax loopholes that could be closed. . i think there's more than that. but many of the deductions we want people to take starts in the middle class. i think we should separate them out from what the republicans want to do. the republicans in congress are protecting tax loopholes, wasteful spending in the tax code, that increases the deficit instead of solving problems. instead of closing tax loopholes for big oil, republicans want cuts in head
start for little children. big oil, over little children. instead of closing tax loopholes for corporations that shipped jobs overseas, 750,000 jobs will be lost here. because of the sequester and the continuing resolution that contains the sequester and the fix we're in because of the refusal of the republican leadership to close those loopholes. instead of ensuring americans pay their fair share, our military readiness will be impaired. unless the defense -- we have kids who won't get proper training to take them into harm's way an health care for america's military families will be cut. there is an answer to all of this, that is we need to close, stop the tax, the spending in our tax code. everybody talks about reducing spending as our colleagues on the other side of the aisle do.
and we all adepree we need to reduce it. that's why $1.6 trillion in spending cuts and we can try to find more. but why can't we stop the spending on the tax code, the spending of tax giveaways. they're called tax expenditures. they cost the taxpayer. if you're concerned about how much the deficit is costing every individual american, why don't we calculate how much the tax break for big oil corporations sending jobs overseas the -- oversea the list goes on and on, how much they cost america's working families. there san answer here to be hopeful, we can come together to say ok we all agree, reduce the deficit, cut spending make some changes that we can
without hurting beneficiaries, and mandatory spending. why, why, why are these tax loopholes for special interest such sacred cows for the republicans? such sacred cows they won't allow mr. van hollen's bill to come to the floor are they afraid of the debate, afraid of the outcome of their vote. with that, i think the gentleman for his lead -- i thank the gentleman for his leadership on putting forward a balanced proposal to prere-deuce the deficit, to avoid sequestration, which we didn't, but as a counter to what the republicans are putting forth and more than a counter it's about leadership it's about what is possible if we can work together in a bipartisan way to get the job done for the american people. i thank you, mr. van hollen and yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the minority leader is reminded to adrets remarks to the chair. the gentleman from indiana is
recognized. mr. messer: appreciate the eye contact. let me make three quick points. . as to the underlying merits of the bill, transparency matters. it matters that we let the american people know what's happening here. this calculation called for under the bill shows that in recent years we have been wracking up $6,800 in debt for every american taxpayer each year. that's a lot of money. folks on the other side of the aisle talk about the need to close tax loopholes, there is broad consensus we need major tax reform. there is broad consensus that the loophole ours tax code is riddled with should go away. then the question is what do you do with the money from those deduction duckss? put it back in the american economy? help grow the economy? the best way to balance our budget and get this house back in fiscal order is to have a
growing economy with more taxpayers who can therefore pay additional tax revenue because they have a job. there's been a loft talk on the other side of the aisle about the need for a balanced approach. but that balanced approach seems to ignore the fact that we had a $600 billion tax increase that passed this body on january 1. the president promised this campaign 4-1 spending reductions to tax increases, we're not yet even to 1-1. and we talk in this chamber about balance. mr. speaker, i would like to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from florida mr. bilirakis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you for this very good. washington continues to spend money we don't have.
we all know the government boffer rows 46 cents on the dollar, much of it from china. and we're sending the tab to our children and grandchildren. across america working families have had to tighten the belts, it is pastime for washington to do the same. out of control spending is not an option. with a national debt of more than $16 trillion, every american has a $52,000 share. we must control spending so washington will not saddle future generations with burdensome debts that crowd out the private sector and lead to increased taxes and higher interest rates. the lack of fiscal discipline and the rising cost are a dangerous combination necessitating action to prevent
washington from dipping into the bottomless cookie jar. this legislation before us was simp -- would simply require the president's budget submission to provide an estimate of the cost per taxpayer of the deficit. -- of the deficit the budget would run. this common sense legislation -- commonsense legislation forces taos face the fiscal danger with eyes wide open. i support this good bill, this effort by my colleague and urge my colleagues to do the same. i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. may i ask how much time remains on each side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland has nine minutes and the gentleman from indiana has eight minutes. mr. van hollen: all right, mr. speaker. again, i have to remind people as they listen to this debate, that this bill does nothing, zero, reduce the deficit.
nothing. all it does is ask for a calculation which we said we welcome, which one of our members actually did on the floor of the house here as she gave her presentation and that we can all do. but by all means let's say to the president, put that calculation in your budget, even though that calculation is out of date three days after the budget is submitted if we don't get control of the deficit and do in it a smart way. now, i agree with the gentleman when he says the best way to deal with the deficit is to grow the economy. that's what we should be focused on which is why we're asking today for the fourth time for a vote on our proposal to replace the sequester so that we don't lose 750,000 jobs. 750,000 jobs is the number of jobs created between october of last year and january of this year. according to the chairman of the federal reserve, if we
continue to allow that se quester to remain in place, we will see one third less economic growth. 23 you don't believe the nonpartisan, independent,ed of the congressional budget office who does professional work, and if you don't believe the chame of the federal reserve who is not a partisan, maybe our republican colleagues will believe the house republican leader, mr. cantor, here's what he said on the floor of this house. not that long ago. with respect to the sequester. i quote. under the sequester, unemployment would soar from its current level. he goes on to say, it would set back any progress the economy has made. mr. cantor. he then referred to a study that said that jobs are more than 2 -- job of more than 200,000 virginians in my home state are on the line. that's mr. cantor. here's what the republican chairman of the armed variouses committee said about a month
ago when he we got the number fless last quarter showing the economy was slowing in part in anticipation of these cuts. mr. mckeon said, quote, this is just the first indicator of the extraordinary economic damage defense cuts will do, unquote. you've got across the board cuts in biomedical research to try to find treatments and cures for diseases that hit families throughout this country. you're going to be putting people out of work who do that important research for our country. and in the end of the day, in addition to the furloughs and the disruption that will cause in the economy, throughout the entire economy, 750,000 fewer jobs will result at the end of the calendar year. so why in the world are we
debating a bill that we already passed, i believe unanimously, one month ago that does nothing about jobs, nothing about the deficit rather than take up think proposal we put forward to replace the sequester in a smart and balanced way, through targeted cuts but also the elimination of these tax breaks. and the answer is unfortunately that our republican colleagues, many of whom have signed that grover norquist pledge, have said they're not willing to close one tax loophole for the pup of reducing the deficit. not one penny. we hear all the talk about reducing the deficit, you can't take away one tax break for a corporate jet to reduce the deficit you can't say to a hedge fund manager, you're no longer going to get a tax break.
so if we're as concerned about the deficit as we should be, let's get at it in a balanced way, not a sequester way which will result in 750,000 fewer american jobs. that's what we should be focused on today, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized. mr. messer: i think in this debate you're seeing two different philosophies of how we move forward as a country, one side of the aisle believes the key to america's future is raising taxes and bigger government. and our side of the aisle that believes the future of america is by reducing spending. let's use tax reform to put more money in the pocket of the taxpayer. the gentleman mentions the c.b.o. many, many times over and over again and fails to mention that -- the leadership of c.b.o. has said that a balanced budget in the long-term will help grow our economy by as much as 1.7% each
year, annually if we balance this budget. he cites majority leader cantor's statements, we have virtual unanimity in this caucus that we need to rere-place the structure of those $85 million in cuts but our side believes we need to replace them with other, more sensible budget reductions to get this government under control. mr. speaker, with those comments, i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from wisconsin, mr. duffy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. duffy: i thank the gentleman for yielding my friends talk about loopholes and tax reform. they may forget that over the last two years, this house and this party have put forth legislation that do away with loopholes as part of a larger tax reform proposal. my friend across the aisle continually talks about a smart
and balanced way to balance the budget. he talks about responsibility, but if you ask him for his legislation, where -- when does a democrat bill balance, when does their budget balance, it never does. does it balance in 10, 20, 50 years? 100 years? does your budget balance in 100 years? never does it balance. that's not a balanced approach. the senate hasn't put forward a budget in four years. the president's budget, not one democrat in this chamber or the senate voted for the president's budget. and that one too. never, never balances. that's not a balanced approach. america deserves better. but under this current legislation, america and americans have a right to know how much their government is accumulating in debt in their name. grandparents and parents, they have a right to know how much debt is going to be passed on to their grandchildren and
children. those little preschoolers, toddlers, infants that will inherit this massive debt. they have a right to know. how about those young adults that are getting out of high school and tech school and out of college. they have a right to know as they look at their car loans, at student loans, at that new house loan, they have a right to know how much they are going to inherit and pay back over the course of their working years of this irresponsible debt. americans have a right to know this legislation is important because this is the first step to making sure america knows the fiscal trouble we're in and to encourage our friends across the aisle to get together and not use terminology of a balanced approach but actually give us a balanced budget. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from indiana reserves. the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker.
the american public does have the right to know. we passed virtually the most identical bill 30 days ago approximately and i'm not objecting to this bill. people have a right to know. we should have transparency. we should reduce the deficit and this bill does nothing to reduce the deficit. what we need to do is make sure that we get our deficits under control, that we stabilize the debt and that we make smart choices for the people in this country. yes, there is a difference of opinion. we believe that as part of reducing the deficit we should make targeted smart cuts but we should also cut some of those tax loopholes. now the gentleman mentioned that we passed a tax increase on $600 billion over the next 10 years. that's right. we said for higher income earners you'll pay the same rates as you did during the
clinton administration. but the gentleman suggested that budget history began on january 1 of this year. we were all here, not everybody, but most of us when we passed the budget control act in the summer of 2011. what did we do in that act? we capped spending. $1.5 trillion in spending reductions. that was the right thing to do. now we've done $600 billion in revenue. so i think most people can do the math on this. we are not even close to the kind of ratios that the bipartisan commission, the bipartisan fiscal commission, simpson-bowles, we're not even close to the balance they talked about in terms of revenues and cuts. not even in the ballpark. so let's focus on the fundamental question which is number one getting the economy moving again, not losing 750,000 jobs this year, and then reducing our deficits in a
smart and balanced way over a period of time. but yes, by all means, let's have the president do a calculation which one of the earlier republican speakers did on the floor of the house. we can all do that. of course as indicated, that calculation changes day-to-day, but by all means let's get it, but let's not pretend that this piece of legislation does one thing to create one job or reduce the deficit by one penny. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from indiana is recognized. mr. messer: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from indiana, my good friend, mr. young. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. young: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of my friend, neighbor, colleague and fellow hoosier, mr. messer, and his bill, h.r. 668. this legislation would require the president's budget proposal to make clear the per taxpayer cost of any budget deficits.
now we've repeatedly heard president obama proclaim his desire to have the most transparent administration in history. in furtherance of that objective, then, this should be welcomed legislation to all parties. to many americans and to many of my colleagues, federal budgeting might seem like an abstraction and thus unimportant because dollar amounts in terms of billions and trillions of dollars are beyond normal human comprehension. most people don't think in those terms. in fairness, most of us don't think in those terms, so let's clarify this process by bringing these numbers down to the individual level. let's tell the american people, for example, under the president's last budget you owe $7,000 just to cover the deficit. that resonates. folks get that. math is pretty simple. the median income in indiana is around $45,000. income in payroll taxes will eat up about $9,000 of that.
people will understand what it means when you tell them that under the president's budget you need almost 20% more per year per hoosier just to balance the budget. now, this is important, contrary to some of the things we heard earlier, maybe this bill will help incentivize those who are drafting budgets in the future to put together the budgets that actually balance at some point in the distant future so we don't have to have the sequester to in some kay get spending under -- way get spending under control. we know we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem in this country. so it's time the federal government and the white house in particular comes clean about the direct impact of our federal deficits on our nation's families. so i urge my colleagues to support this measure of good government by voting yea for h.r. 668 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. may i ask how much time remains on each side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland has two minutes. and the gentleman from indiana has three minutes. mr. van hollen: all right. does the gentleman have any more speakers? one more speaker. why don't i reserve the balance of my time? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from indiana is recognized. mr. messer: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to another very good friend of mine, the third hoosier speaking and good friend speaking on this bill today, the distinguished gentleman from indiana, mr. stutzman. the speaker pro tempore: thank you, to my friend from indiana. this is i believe the fifth speaker from indiana. maybe we're getting something right in indiana. i don't know what it is. thank you for carrying this
bill. we do have a balanced budget in indiana. we have made sure that we have taken care of the children and education. we've made sure that our law enforcement is taken care of, but we've also made those difficult choices early on that washington could really learn from in budgeting. i congratulate congressman messer for bringing this particular bill. it's a good government bill. i know the other side of the aisle is talking about the sequester, and i find it ironic that "the washington times" today has a headline that says, 400 more jobs were created in spite of the sequester. so i don't believe that the sky is falling here. this legislation requires the president to do some simple math and include with his budget, should he choose to submit one, an estimate of the cost of the deficit per taxpayer. taxpayers just simply deserve to know how much they owe for washington's out-of-control spending. after all, every dime that the federal government borrows is saddled on this generation and
the next generation and generations to follow. right now the cost of washington's $16 trillion of national debt totals more than $147,000 per taxpayer. in fact, approximately every minute, mr. speaker, the federal government borrows another $4 million per minute, leaving this generation empty promises and massive debt. this is no way to run a government. if the president refuses to break the cycle of bailouts, borrowing and taxpayer -- and tax hikes, taxpayers deserve to know the true cost of the president's irresponsible decisions. the american taxpayers deserve transparency and that's exactly what this bill does. mr. speaker, i applaud my colleague from indiana and i thank him for bringing this bill to the floor and i urge support of all of my colleagues here in the house of representatives, and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. it's always good to see a show
of hoosier unity on the floor of the house, and i look forward to joining my colleagues in voting for this bill. in the state of maryland, we also have a balanced budget but we also have a capital budget and other parts we do differently. look, mr. speaker, i support this bill, i support transparency, i supported virtually the identical provision 30 days ago. that's really not the issue. yes, we want more information and we'll get it, but the real issue here is the loss of jobs. now, the previous gentleman mentioned "the washington times" does an article saying more jobs were created. thank goodness we are finally seeing more and more jobs created. we will have economic growth. there will be jobs created. the question is how many fewer jobs we will have as a result of the sequester. the c.b.o. hasn't said it will stop every job from being created. what the chairman of the federal reserve has said and what the nonpartisan
congressional budget office has said is that the sequester, if it remains in place through the end of the year, will be a drag on growth so we will have fewer jobs created. in fact, they estimate we will have 750,000 fewer american jobs by the end of the year if we don't do something about the sequester. so mr. speaker, i just go back to the original question. why take up something we've already done, already passed virtually unanimously when we have a much more pressing issue? and when we today will ask for the fourth time this year when it counts to vote on a bill that would replace the sequester in a smart and balanced way without the loss of jobs, that's the fundamental question, and why this house is shirking that responsibility and refusing to hold a vote on a proposal that would prevent the loss of 750,000 jobs is a
question i think the american people are asking themselves. so mr. speaker, let's get on to the business and focus on jobs and really reducing the deficit and not playing these kind of games on the floor of the house. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana. mr. messer: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the gentleman's help and comments on this bill. it's a good government bill. it's transparent. it tells the american taxpayer how much the federal government is racking on their dime. i hope it passes. it makes an important point that the bill is not a cure-all of the work and we have lots of work to do. far too many families in this economy have had to come home and deal with a job loss. the $85 billion that we're talking about in the sequester, while a lot of money, is 2% of our total federal government at $3.6 trillion budget. it's two pennies on every
dollar. we agree that this sequester should be replaced. we disagree on how. surely we can find two pennies to save instead of raising taxes and taking more money out of the pocket of the american taxpayer. with that i close, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: both gentlemen's time has expired. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 668. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. messer: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman ask for the yeas and nays? mr. messer: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 338, the stop tobacco smuggling in the territories act of 2013. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 338, a bill to amend title 18, united states
code, to include certain territories and possessions of the united states in the definition of state for the purpose of chapter 114 relating to trafficking and court -- and contraband cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes this gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 338, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: cigarette trafficking is a very lucrative crime, both here in the united states and abroad. it is estimated that illicit cigarettes account for over 10%
of the more than 5.7 trillion cigarettes sold globally each year. here in the united states approximately four billion of the cigarettes sold each year are illicit. cigarette smuggling is generally carried out by large criminal organizations that take advantage of the significant disparity between the taxes levied on cigarettes across the states. these differences create a highly lucrative job by purchasing cigarettes in one locality and transporting themming to another for resale -- them to another for resale below market value. criminals can make a profit of $1 million on just a single truck lold load of illicit cigarettes. this crime also harms state and federal revenues. according to the justice department, this illicit activity costs the states and the federal government an estimated $5 billion each year. this is money that could and should be put to better use.
in 2009, congress took steps to cush contraband cigarettes with the prevent all cigarette trafficking or pact act. it prohibits cigarette trafficking over the internet. h.r. 338, the stop tobacco smuggling in the territories act of 2013, provides a technical correction to ensure the criminal prohibitions against cigarette smuggling apply to the territories of american samoa, guam and the northern mariana islands. just as they do in the rest of the country. without this fix, cigarettes sold in these territories without evidence taxes were paid do not fall within the definition of contraband cigarettes. this is a modest but important change to helpties courage crime and increase tax revenues
in these territories. i want to thank mr. faleomavaega for his work on these issues as well as the ranking member on the full committee and subcommittee for their support of thevert. i thank mr. sensenbrenner as well and urge my colleagues to join me in support of this bill and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott is recognized. mr. scott: i yield myself such time as by might consume mr. speaker, i rise in support -- might consume. mr. speaker i rise in support of this bill, it is simple and straightforward, it amands the cigarette contraband trafficking act to include the territories of american samoa, guam and u.s. virgin islands in this act. -- the act applies to the sale
of contraband smokeless tobacco in certain specified quantities. the act authorizes the imposition of criminal penalties and fines. as drafted, however, the bill does not apply to american samoa, the commonwealth of the northern mariana islands and guam. the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms is prohibited from investigating in those territories. h.r. 338 will cure this obvious oversight. mr. speaker, cigarettes are believed to be the most illegally trafficked product in the world and in twikse alone, more than 10% of worldwide sales, 600 billion zpwrerts counterfeited. contraband cigarettes present numerous issues. legally manufactured cigarettes
are diverted from legal trade channels to the underworld for resale, evading the imposition of taxes and costing territorial governments a significant of cigarette tax revenue each year. it also facilitates unfair computation that hurts the bottom line of legitimate businesses. contraband cigarettes are not subjected to safeguards, therefore could contain taxics -- toxic ingredients that could affect the health of the smoker. it also results in easier affordability for our youth resulting in addiction at earlier ages. the ill list trade adds to the health care cost and the growing debt from fact use. currently, the use of tobacco claims 5.4 million a year -- lives a year and that number is
expected to rise to eight million by 2013. i strongly support h.r. 338 and thank delegate faleomavaega for his leadership in spearheading this issue. i urge my colleagues to support the legislation and preserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. mr. goodlatte is recognized. mr. goodlatte: i reserve my time. mr. scott: i yield such time as he may consume to the delegate from american samoa. mr. faleomavaega: i thank the gentleman for yielding, i want to thank my good friend the chairman of the house judiciary committee whether good lat and mr. john conyers, the ranking member. i would like to thank my good friend jim sensenbrenner, the chairman of the subcommittee, and the gentleman from virginia, my good friend, for their support in the subcommittee. i want to acknowledge speaker
john boehner and majority leader eric cantor and democratic leader nancy pelosi for their support. my district faces a serious problem of tobacco smuggling. as many as 2.8 million cigarettes were smuggled into the territory. this resulted in the loss of about $275,000 in tax revenue in the territory. mr. speaker, securing a sustainable, stable source of local revenue stream is essential and must be encouraged for the territories as it is always done for the states. mr. speaker, it was for this reason that i began to look into this important issue. i was disappointed to find that under the current law, prohibitive great -- prohibiting cigarette smuggling not all territories were
included. it is illegal to ship, sale, transport or po says more than 10,000 cigarettes not bearing the stamp of the jurisdiction in which they are found. it's punishable by up to five years in prison. continue the contraband cigarette trafficking act does not apply to american samoa, the territory of guam and the northern mariana islands. historically, when congress considered the bill in 1978, the senate version defined states, the district of columbia, puerto rico and a territory or possession of the united states. however the house provision include -- excluded the smaller territories. for some reason unknown to me, the conference substitute dotchted the house provision. the house provision is described as more accurately
delineating the scope of the legislation. the bill before us today will correct this oversight under the current law this important piece of legislation will amend the contraband cigarette trafficking act in the territories. i urge my colleagues to support the bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. goodlatte: i close by saying this is a serious problem and the los to the territories mr. faleomavaega and others represent are lost revenues that they can use to meet legitimate obligations and we want to help them combat that. i strongly support the legislation and urge my colleagues to do the same and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 338?
those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- mr. goodlatte: on that i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 further proceedings of this -- on this question will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12a of rule 1, the house will stand in recess subject to the call of the chair.
>> become to the budget for a moment. senator mcconnel said the budget will be coming out on april 8. can you clarify that? >> i don't have any information for you. i don't believe the white house is looking to the senate to make announcements for it, so i'm not sure. >> he said the budget timing is politically motivated and irresponsible. do you want to comment? >> i don't. april? >> jay, as the white house sees the pulse of the american people, has there been an uptick in letters and calls to the white house about sequestration and what's happening. >> i don't know the answer to that, we can take it and see. >> also, i want to find out when will the president say when?
i'm reminded of something he said at the podium last week, he said he has to make hard decisions some in his party may not look and virginia congressman bobby scott said the solution to sequester are about as bad as the sequester itself. when does the president said, ok, this is how far i will go. >> the president made clear he does not support budgetary practices that claim as their goal putting our fiscal house in order that ask all of the burden to be borne by senior citizens or middle class families or the most vulnerable among us. he will not support that approach. i think that has been consistent throughout the several years we have had this debate. what he has been willing to do is make clear that if we take a balanced approach, we can enact
spending cuts in our discretionary, nondefense budget that are serious but allow us to continue to invest in key areas of the economy like education and research and development and education and clean energy technology and we can do that in a way that still bricks our discretionary, nondefense spending to a level it has not been since dwight eisenhower was president. if we do it in a balanced way, we can reform our entitlements in a way to preserve these incredibly crucial programs for senior citizens for generations to come an strengthens them, rather than he alternative which is if you don't do it in a balanced way, you have to gut these programs or end them as we know them or voucherize them in a way that shifts costs to senior citizens. >> the president is -- has those in his party who are vehemently
opposed to cuts in those. when will the president listen to his own party? >> i think the president made clear when he was here on friday, as he has many times, that he has made some tough choices in his proposals, that he understands are difficult for some democrats, often many democrats, to go along with. he believes they're within the context of a broader deal, you will, won the context of a balanced deal that includes tax reform, the entitlement reforms, it protects the seniors and others. i think your question in a way makes his point which is that he has led on this issue in a way that i think leadership has often been defined in washington which is making decisions that are difficult, politically, within your own party and what we have not seen from republicans thus far in this debate, at least from the leaders, is a commensurate willingness to make the tough
call and say, you know what, in the name of broader deficit reduction and getting serious entitlement reforms and getting our fiscal house in order we should go along with reforms that produce revenue much as the speaker of the house said he wanted two short months ago. >> you said tax reform generates rev mue -- revenue for deficit reduction, how is that different from tax reform that generates revenue? >> the speaker said he still believes the loopholes should be closed and that the revenues should be funneled into tax cuts. as we know and every economist will tell you, lower rates result in disproportionate benefits to americans. we haven't seen anything laid out specifically on how they would envision this tax reform.
you're saying they should funnel that into tax beaks as opposed to deficit reduction. >> how do you funnel revenue into deficit reduction? >> as the president -- the president's plan would generate revenue through tax reform as well as savings through entitlement reforms and the combination would account for roughly $1.8 trillion in further deficit reduction. >> quick question, would the president sign a comprehensive bill that did not include a path to citizenship? >> the president made clear he believes a path to citizenship is a vital component of comprehensive immigration reform. it's in keeping with bipartisan efforts in the past and with the discussions under way in the senate with the so-called gang of eight system of he is encouraged by the progress that's been made thus far in the senate by that bipartisan group and he hopes that progress will continue.
>> would he sign a bill that didn't include a path to citizenship? >> i'm not going to speculate but i think it's clear, he believes a pathway to citizenship is vital to a comprehensive immigration package. so yes. >> on the comment yesterday, i'm wondering if as a result, does the white house believe it has made it harder for the president to work with the republicans in congress now that jeb bush has come out the path to citizenship? does it move the whole debate to the right? >> i leave it to you and others to assess the political dynamics at play here. i note that numerous republicans believe that part of comprehensive immigration reform has to include a pathway to citizenship. i would also note that just to be clear that the president's pro-- what the president has put forward in his blueprint, what others have been considering, does not give an advantage to
illegal immigrants. it makes clear they have to go to the back of the line when it comes to applying for citizenship and that's a key component of the president's blueprint. all the way in the back. donovan, you're next, sorry. >> how do you think this will affect the region? >> i don't know, i don't have a specific reaction, obviously, we worked very closely with our international partners, our partners in the asia-pacific region. we are a pacific power and we have significant interests in the region. we engage with and work with our chinese counterparts on a variety of issues both economic and security related. but for specific reactions to that, i would probably refer you to the defense department. donovan? >> thanks, jay. s that followup on something
kristen and april asked. gallup had a survey that showed that 51% of the american people have no idea whether the sequester cuts are good or bad and it's been noted that the president's approval rating dropped seven points in a week. it's clear the american people are blaming him. >> before we say anything is clear based on one poll, could we just remember, think back a few months to the summer and fall of 2012 and understand that, you know, we're here focused on the president's agenda, getting the work done we think is most beneficial to the middle class, and you know, i just, i would caution everyone, i'm not saying this is a bad poll as at -- at all, i have no idea, i haven't looked at it but i would caution everyone not suffer from amnesia about the folly -- that comes from chasing one poll -- from taking one poll's results and making a
grand conclusion. >> sorry about that. over half don't know whether se quester is good or bad. he's been asked -- >> i'm stunned that sequester -- that that many people even know what se quester is. it is -- it's a term that most people are familiar with only if they've done jury duty. it doesn't really make a lot of sense when it comes to budgetary issues. but sorry, proceed. >> they know furlough. but he's been out there, speaking across the country and also addressing it from here. how does the white house account for that seeming failure to break through to get his messages out? >> again, i would argue that most americans are focused on their daily lives, what they're doing to ensure that they're taking care of their families, that they're making ends meet and to april's point, whether they know or have heard about
sequester or sequestration, they'll know that something bad has happened if they get a furlough notice or a layoff notice or a notice that says their child in direct contradiction to ed's question, actually loses a slot in head start. they will know. and it will be unfortunate. the president said and it is absolutely true, we will manage the situation. but it cannot be lost on anyone that it's unnecessary. none of this achieves the stated objectives, sequester doesn't do it. increases in border patrol, increases some of the priorities moneys say they have.
it does not happen under sequester. i think for these reasons republicans decry se quest -- sequester. -- descry sequester. the speaker of the house said it would harm the national economics. some republicans call it a tea party victory or a home run as two house republicans have on the record. we couldn't disagree more, it may be a narrow political victory in some conference room on capitol hill, that, none of the republican -- it achieved none of the republican party's stated objectives and does direct harm to the national defense and average folks across the country. >> the negotiation -- it was said today the negotiation with
iran is a waste of time. do you agree? >> we are in p-5 plus one conferences with iran. we are clear-eyed about iranian behavior and that behavior led to situation where they're more isolated and suffering through an unprecedented sanctions regime. more isolated than ever before and suffering through the sanctions regime and that regime has done harm to its economy. and iran faces a choice, abide by u.n. security council resolution, to abide by international norms and obligations. and by doing so, rejoin the community of nations. and iran's isolation. give greater hope for the iranian people or continue down the path of flouting those
obligations and endure the consequences through greater isolation and greater sanction and you know, the ultimate fact that it is our policy that iran will not and cannot acquire a nuclear weapon. the window of opportunity here, as i said the other day, i think yesterday, will not remain open forever when it comes to iran's chances to get right with the world. thanks. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> president obama visiting service members at walter reed national military center in bethesda, maryland. later today he'll have his first meeting at the white house with new defense secretary hagel. later this afternoon at the white house. back on capitol hill we're waiting to take you back live as the u.s. house will gavel in for a couple of votes. earlier they debated a bill that
would require the president's budget to include an estimate of the cost per tax payer of the deficit and one against tobacco smuggling in u.s. territories. later this week, they will take up a bill on the budget. the rules committee will meet this afternoon. that will be live on c-span3 and c-span radio and c-span.org. earlier today, while we wait for the house to come in, earlier today we spoke to an analyst, a defense analyst who looked at the impact of the sequester budget cuts to the defense department. host: robert levinson. first of all, this focuses on defense contract spending.
how do you define that? what is it? >> that's the money the department of defense spends on goods and services. it's about evenly divided between goods and services and it's somewhere around $315 billion a year. host: dow howe did you gatt they are data? guest: we at bloomberg government ingest this contract data reparted -- reported to the federal government, we ingest that, manipulate it, clean it up and we have tools for extracting the data in various ways and one way is by congressional district. host: we learned yesterday we don't have a good number on how many federal contractors across all agencies there are. do we have a good handle on the money being spent on defense contracting. guest: we don't have a good handle on the number of people working as defense contractors. even the department of defense, secretary gates talked about not having a good number. in terms of contracts and the dollars we spend we have a good
handle on that. we know how much money is spent because these contracts are reported through a system. there are classified contracts that deal with intelligence work and other things which aren't reported but the rest is reported and we have a good handle on that. host: what was the headline out of this report. guest: the headline is counterintuitive, the democratic districts, those represented by democratic districts of congress, tend to get a little more defense contract dollars han the republican districts. host: here's one, contract spending. host: two republicans and eight
democrats. guest: in the top 10. a lot of this is industrial stuff, goes to urban areas where there's more capability, that probably explains part of that. host: do we know what type of spending is going on in these districts? goip in most cases the big contract dollars are not -- guest: in most cases the big contract dollars are not, representative clay is not a big voice on the defense issues, doesn't sit on defense committees but he has a huge amount of boeing manufacturing in his district. he's in a good spot because like with the sequestration a lot of his money is coming from saudi arabia to buy fighter jets from the fighter jets. he does ok.
host: what about jim moran? guest: he's probably the most vulnerable in terms of cuts coming to defense contracts. it's not big manufacturing or big aircraft it's i.t. services. i think the biggest contractor in his district is actually a translation company providing translation service for the department of defense. he's got a wide variety of companies headquartered close to washington, d.c. and services kind of businesses. the top republican is kay granger's district in texas, the 12th congressional district of texas, almost all lockheed. i think it's a little over $9 billion in her district, almost all lockheed and a good portion of that is the f-35 fighter jet, the largest program. these are two ways that defense dollars flood. the f-35's or submarines or ships or the services for the department of defense.
host: this report flips on its head the perception that republicans protect the pentagon more, protect pentagon spending more than democrats do. guest: there's a perception that republicans are more protective of the defense department, it's not necessarily because of the spending somehow if the spending moves to democratic districts. however what you're seeing now more with republicans is a real focus on austerity, on cutting budgets, on restricting the deficit and many more republicans than in the past have been willing to talk about the pentagon needs to be trimmed as well. host: how will sequester will sequester impact on this defense contractor spending? guest: sequester impacts it very much. for the department of defense it's about $7.9% or 7.8% on the discretionary side that's cut. it goes across the board so it will affect the contracts.
now, the department of defense says it doesn't want to break contracts which it can co, but it pays penalties if it does that. so it doesn't want to break -- host: are there big penalties? guest: in some cases it can be. basically if the pentagon terminates a contract, there's sort a negotiation to say -- the negotiation process between the government and the contractor to say -- >> we'll leave this to take you back live to the house floor as members return for votes. and n the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as a five-minute vote. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from indiana, mr. messer, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 668 on which the yeas and nays are ordered.
the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 668, a bill to amend section 1105-a of title 31 united states code to require that annual budget submissions of a president to congress provide an estimate of the cost per taxpayer of the deficit, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 392. the nays are 28. with one present. the bill is passed and without objection the rulls are suspended, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. -- the rules are suspended, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion by the gentleman from virginia, mr. good lat, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. -- goodlatte, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 338. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 338, a bill to amend title 18, united states code, to include certain territories and possessions of the united states in the definition of state for the purposes of chapter 114, relating to trafficking in contraband cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the well, take your conversations outside the chamber. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: madam speaker, the president's sequester has gone into effect and according to the
white house, the sky is falling. the administration is on the tour du fear with the american people, yet it has the power to prioritize spending. who made the priority list? pakistan. that's right, madam speaker. in the midst of doom and gloom of sequestration, the administration is quietly shelling out an additional $37 million to pakistan. that's over half of the $67 million being cut from public education in texas. pakistan is the benedict arnold nation in the list of countries we call allies. pakistani leaders are continuing to vilify the united states on one hand and with the sleight of hand take our money. money i believe ends up in the hands of radical extremists. pakistan plays a dangerous dishonest deceit game by pretending to be our ally while simultaneously giving a wink and a nod to extremism. mr. president, fund our schools
not a disloyal ally. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from connecticut seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. delauro: i rise in strong support of the fair minimum wage act introduced by congressman george miller. which would raise the minimum wage over three years to $10.10 per hour, then index the wage to inflation. it is long past time to get this done. the minimum wage in america used to be equal to about half of average wages. today at $7.25 an hour, it is barely a third. the purchasing power of the minimum wage has been dropping steadily since 1968. if the minimum wage kept up with inflation over the last 40 years, it would be at $10.55 an
hour. this failure to keep pace particularly hurts women who make up nearly two out of three workers making the minimum wage. at that rate, a year of full-time work comes out to $14.500 a year. for a mom with two kids, it's over $3,000 below the poverty line. for tips workers the situation is worse. they make only $2.13 an hour, $2.13. low minimum wage is not bad for workers, it's bad for business and the economy. low wages limits consumer demand. it stalls our country's economic growth. it hurts everyone. raising the minimum wage would not just be a raise for 21 million workers, it would create 140,000 new jobs, boost our g.d.p. -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. delauro: we waited long enough. it's time to make sure all our workers make a decent pay for a
hard day's work. i urge my colleagues to pass this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i just want to congratulate the minnetonka high school girls hockey team who recently won the minnesota state high school hockey tournament, the first girls hockey team to do so, to win three consecutive state championships. the path to achieving greatness is never uncontested as these girls found out. the night before the championship, madam speaker, they played lakeville north for a four hour, 17 minute marathon game that finally ended in a win after a goal from amy peterson in the sixth overtime. mr. paulsen: the hard work and ted case of this team truly exemplifies what it means to be great student athletes who excel both on the ice the and the classroom. all their players and coaches deserve great praise for their determination this season.
it's an honor to be able to represent and recognize such all star athletes. congratulations and go skippers. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. bath bath madam speaker, we are merely five days into the sequester, this totally engineered crisis that didn't need -- mr. butterfield: madam speaker, we are merely five days not sequester, this totally engineered crisis that didn't need to happen. coast guard station elizabeth city, cherry point marine corps air station are integral parts of their local communities and also help to form the backbone of our national defense. the sequester has already impacted the coast guard with air operations being cut by 11% and maritime operations cut by 24%. these cuts have reduced maritime safety and security in the waters off of our coastline.
furlough notices have already gone out to thousands of civilian employees at fleet readiness center where maintenance is conducted on navy and marine corps aircraft. the furlough amounts to a loss of $81 million. the 848 employees at butner federal correctional center in my district received furlough notices and will lose up to 10% of their salaries because of sequestration. the impact of the sequester are already been felt in martin county where the public school system has lost $400,000. this means that teachers are stretched even thinner and are forced to do more with significantly less. madam speaker, we need to rethink the sequester. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker, last week in
a friday afternoon announcement designed to bury the news, the state department released a very troubling supplemental environmenta document regarding the keystone x.l. pipeline, a progress that would be undone in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning into a green energy economy. unfortunately, environmental protection seems to be a foreign policy to our state department, but even this pro-industry report cannot gloss over the fact that keystone x.l. would unlock development of some of the dirtiest, most climate-damaging fuel on earth and it would lock the united states into deeper dependence on expensive tar sands fuel which takes this country in the wrong direction for our environment and our economy. mr. huffman: just this morning in the subcommittee on energy and mineral resources, we heard about the enorm potential for wind energy to generate jobs and also cost-effectively
improve energy independence. other forms of clean energy hold the same promise. madam speaker, it's time to get serious about climate change and clean energy job creation and importing dirty expensive tar sands fuel is the wrong way to do that. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from georgia, mr. gingrey, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority. -- majority leader. mr. gingrey: i thank the majority leader for yielding this time to discuss an extremely important issue facing our country, facing the patience in this great country of ours that are going to be -- have a very difficult time in
finding a position, madam speaker. in march of 2010 when the so-called affordable care act, or pi pack -- or pa packa, was passed -- pipaca, was passed into law, it had positions for all patients across this country and also to bring down the cost of health care. well, we're two years into this bill which will become fully effective in january of 2014. and what are we seeing? madam speaker, the c.b.o. reported just recently that some seven million people have actually lost their health insurance, the health insurance provided by their more. and those who still do have health insurance, particularly
those who get it maybe not from their employer but from the individual market, small group policy, the cost has actually increased some $2,500 a year instead of coming down as anticipated and predicted and promised, in fact, by president obama. but that just absolutely is not happening. so what we're going to be talking about, madam speaker, is, again, what needs to be done to correct this situation, because the thing that was never really discussed to my satisfaction when this bill was crafted was, how are you going to get the best and the brightest young men and women in this country to continue to go into the field of medicine, to become the doctors, particularly the primary care, internal medicine, pediatrics,
pediatricians to provide that care when the reimbursement system under medicare called the sustainable growth rate where year after year after year for the last six or eight years we've actually cut the income to the providers to the point, madam speaker, where they can't provide this care? they can't even break even. so this is what we're going to be talking about, this flawed sustainable growth system, and it has certainly contributed to the physician shortage crisis that we see today. now, i have a number of slides that i want to present to my colleagues, and we'll go over some specifics on that, but i'm very pleased to be joined today in this hour with the co-chair of the house g.o.p. doctors caucus, my good friend and fellow physician member from tennessee, dr. phil roe.
i'm going to go ahead and yield to dr. roe at this point. mr. roe: dr. gingrey, it's good to see you moving your arm so well and recovering from your surgery so well. i think the question that comes up, and dr. gingrey and other members and i have discussed this, when i got here and dr. bringry -- i've been here four years. dr. gingrey came some couple terms before i did, we did this for a reason because we wanted to impact the health care system in our country. the problem with the health care system in our country was costs are exploding. if you look, as he point out, the affordable care act has been anything affordable. the average family of four when you have to buy an essential benefits package which the government will determine what that is in 2016 will cost a family of four $20,000. that's unbelievable when you think that the per capita income in my district is
$33,000. so i think we are -- we are at a point or going to be at a point where no one can afford it. what dr. gingrey is mentioning in the s.g.r., sustainable growth rate, what does that mean and why should i care if i'm a senior? dr. gingrey and i both have medicare as our primary source of insurance. well, it started -- the idea was -- medicare started back in 1965, a great program for seniors who did not have access to care. it has met a great need since then. started as a $3 billion program. the estimate was from the government estimators in 25 years this would be a $12 billion program. we don't do millions here. billions. and the real number in 1990 was $110 -- madam speaker, $110 billion instead of $12 billion. they missed it almost 10 times. there have been various schemes
to control the costs always reducing payments to providers. they are those who take care of us. nurse practitioners. it could be a chiropractor, podiatrist or your hospital. when you say providers, those are the folks and institutions that care for us when we're ill. so in 1997, the ways and means committee brought together something called the budget control act, and this is a very complex formula based on how you're going to pay doctors. their zip code, where they live, the cost of an office, the humidity in the air. it's an incredibly complicated scheme to pay doctors. and the idea is this, we have this much money to spend in medicare, and so we've put a formula together to only spend this much money. if we spend less than that money, that will go as a savings. if we spend more than that much
money, then we'll cut the doctors and the providers that amount of money to make that line balance. so what's happened -- mr. gingrey: will the gentleman yield back? mr. roe: i'll yield back. mr. gingrey: i want to point out to my colleagues and dr. roe the poster we have before us. this is exactly what the good doctor is talking about right now in regard to what's been going on since, what, the year 2000, and dr. roe, you may want to refer to this slide. mr. roe: if you'll -- mr. gingrey: i yield back. mr. roe: the particular slide that dr. gingrey has in there is telling. basically what it says is each year we've recalculated what our physicians will be paid, then that number has actually -- we haven't met those metrics, which means we have to cut. what has congress done? congress has realized what we're talking about is not payments to doctors. what we're talking about is access to care for patients, and what happens is if you go back to 2003, i think it was
2003 when there was a 5% cut in medicare payments, we real o'sed at that point right there -- realized at that point right there if you continue to do that that access would be lost. let's fast forward to 2013, what we are just facing. doctors were facing a 26.5% cut, the providers were -- mr. gingrey: dr. roe, that would be -- mr. roe: that's correct. that number right there. providers also -- that was avoided by one-year so-called doc fix. and what has happened over the last 15 or so, 16 years, the line that the ways and means committee, now law, says we have to spend this much money but we've actually spent this much, that is a deficit in spending that we got to make up somewhere in our budget or add it to the budget deficit. now i go back to when i was in practice just four -- five years ago now in johnson city, tennessee, i was having a
harder -- dr. gingrey, i don't know about you, but i was having harder primary care access for my patients that i operated on or maybe somebody that had been my patient for 30 years and if he was 40 years when i started caring for her and she was 70 years old and needed a primary care doctor, that was getting harder and harder to do. when you look at today's young medical students, we are having a much harder time convincing these young people go into primary care. it's pediatrics. family practice. family medicine. it's internal medicine and also ob-gyn. i certainly served as a primary care doctor, as dr. gingrey did, for many, many years. that would be the only doctor they'd ever see. that's getting harder for our patients to do. dr. gingrey, that's my primary concern is access for seniors to their doctors.
mr. gingrey: dr. roe, if you'll yield back to me for just a second. mr. roe: i'll yield. mr. gingrey: i'll return to you. again, i wanted to point out to our colleagues this poster, this slide that's on the easel before us, is exactly what the gentleman from tennessee is talking about in regard to shortage of primary care physicians. and as he pointed out, primary care is a family practitioner, is a general internist. of course pediatricians provide primary care to our children, but so many of these doctors are the very ones that take the medicare, take the medicaid, take the schip, the state health insurance program for children, they see them. and what dr. roe is referring,
it shows in the dark blue the areas of these states, several states, including my own of georgia. tennessee is not quite as bad, but in my state of georgia, there are anywhere from 145 to 508 areas in the state of georgia where there is insufficient number of doctors to take care of these folks. tennessee is a little bit better. there are only 67 to 99 areas. all of this blue are critical areas, are they not, dr. roe, and i yield back to you? mr. roe: that is correct. so much so that in california what they're recommending -- i don't know if they carried it out or not -- but they recommended expanding the definition of primary care to a lower level provider. that would be a nurse or nurse practitioner or p.a. or that sort of thing. i think this sort of designation -- i think the other thing, dr. gingrey, that
we haven't talked about and we should probably spend some time on is the age of our practitioners. in our state of tennessee where you see that, we're not quite as dire need as georgia. our friends to the south. the problem with it is that 45% of our practicing physicians in the state of tennessee are over 50 years of age. i'm concerned that with the ad vent of the affordable care act, the frustration i see when i go out and talk to prociders, i'm afraid many of them will punch the button for the door. i know in my practice, where we have about 100 primary care providers in our practice. in my ob/gyn group, we had over 120 years of experience walk out the door and retired. that's not a good thing. that quite frankly is the crux of it all. access if you do not have access, you will decrease
quality and increase cost. that's our concern, ultimately the cost will go up if our patients can't get in to see us. i yield back. mr. gingrey: i thank the gentleman. what the gentleman from tennessee is talking about is having an insurance card, a health insurance card, even having a medicare card, does you very little good if you have to spend two hours going through the yellow pages trying to find some physician, primary care doctor, in your area that you would have to get in your car and drive, if you don't have access, you don't have anything. this bill, this massive bill that was passed two years ago at the cost of almost $1 trillion, that money was taken out of medicare to create this
new entitlement fund for younger people so they can have health insurance, what we've done is made the crisis in the medicare system that much more difficult. what dr. roe was talking about, colleagues, in regard to not just the shortage of the physicians, but the -- what happens in the waiting rooms all across our country, slide shows the number of primary care physicians per 1,000 population. the number of primary care physicians for 1 -- per 1,000 population. we've already gone over, we're talking about, again, general internists and family practitioners primarily and pediatricians for schip and medicaid. you look at that map across the country, again, look at my
state of georgia, in the deep red, there are several states, texas, yk, mississippi, alabama, utah, nevada, idaho in the west, where there are a number of primary care physicians per 1,000 of the population, it's fewer than one. less than one doctor per 1,000 people that need that care. many other states, including tennessee, it's somewhere between one and 1 ppt 2. i don't know how you get 1.2 physicians, i don't know exactly what that provider looks like, but you know how that math is calculated. clearly the shortages is a-- the shortage is acute and it's only going to get worse and worse. with that, i want to yield to one of my good colleagues, my good friend on the energy and commerce committee, whose father was the chairman of the health subcommittee of the
energy and commerce committee for many, many years before he retired, his son took his place and now the gentleman from florida, gus bilirakis, is serving on that health subcommittee with me, and i yield time to the representative. mr. wall: -- mr. bilirakis: we must -- mr. bilirakis: since coming to congress, doctors in my district have consistently stressed the unsustainableability -- unsustainability of the s.g.r. and how it impedes long-term business models. it's a temporary stop-gap measure to avert the payment
flip. doctors have to have certainty. we a shortage of doctors in the state of florida and it's only going to get worse. we must repeal the s.u.r. and replace it. it has led to uncertainty for medical providers, again, as i said, which threatens patient care. again, access to care is what it's all about and i'm glad that the chairman of the energy and commerce committee, chairman upton, has made this a top priority, fixing the s.g.r., again, not only is he associated with reimbursement rates and physician practices, it affect house the center for medicare and medicaid services plans to update medicare advantage rates. i know that seniors in my district. congress not allows the s.g.r.
cuts to take effect, congress is assuming these cuts will take place as it determines the medicare advantage adjustments. we always fix it at the end of the year. but they're assuming that the cuts will take place. i worry this will result in reduced benefits and increased premiums for the many seniors who like, really love, their medicare advantage program. mr. gingrey: i thank the gentleman from florida, what he is addressing right now is -- goes back to the creation of this law. the affordable care act, sometimes referred to as obamacare. money was taken out of the existing medicare program which is already strained almost to the bursting point and the medicare advantage program
probably 20% of medicare recipients select that model because it gives them more bang for the buck. it gives them more coverage and it includes things and the gentleman from florida knows this. and this is what he's referencing. it includes more than just an annual physical when you turn 65. it includes more than being able to go to see a doctor and have it reimbursed under medicare when you have an episode of illness. there's a strong emphasis on medicare advantage to wellness,, let's say you do go and see the doctor because of an episode of illness and maybe several prescriptions were written and it's very important that the patient take the med case on a regular basis and not run out of med case, under medicare advantage, there would be a nurse, maybe in the
doctor's office who within just a few days of that encounter would call the patient to make sure that he or she could afford to get those prescriptions filled and they were taking them in the right way. and that's what the word advantage was all about. medicare advantage. rather than just the traditional fee for service medicare. but this new law created two years ago, and will go into full effect in january 20, 14, literally gutted that medicare advantage part, did it not, representative bilirakis? it cut that program 12% to 14%. it just literally gut, i'm talking about $130 billion were taken out of that one program. and so now, seniors that were on medicare advantage are having to look for new doctors, look for new programs, try to, again, go through those yellow pages and find somebody that
will see mama, with has been going to this other group for years. and totally satisfied. so you know, when the president said to the american public, you like the health insurance plan you have, don't worry, you can keep it. you will not lose it. that wasn't true. i don't think he deliberately told an untruth, but it clearly is not true. as i say, and i said at the outset of this hour, some seven million people have already lost insurance provided by their employer and many more of these people that were getting their medicare through the advantage program, they have lost that through no choice, madam speaker, of their own. no choice of their own. they have been forced out of those programs. so i yield back to my colleague and we'll continue this colloquy. mr. bilirakis: i couldn't have said it better myself, dr.
gingrey. again, i have constituents in florida, it's about 20% in my district. closer to 40%, who have chosen medicare advantage. it's all about choices as far as i'm concerned. if i wanted to get hearing aids, if i want to get a gym membership what have you, i should have the choice to choose my plan. it works so very well in our area. we weren't going to give seniors a choice. my father as you referenced work sod many years to fix this s. fwmplet r. and i'm very proud to serve on the health committee but i appreciate the two doctors here and all the doctors who have really sacrificed to run for congress and do what's good for our people, patients, treating patients is what it's all about. thank you very much for allowing me to participate.
mr. gingrey: i thank the gentleman, and i thank ms. dad, representative bill bilirakis, who served with distinction for so many years, i hope he's enjoying a happy, healthy retirement. i hope he's able to find the care, but i bet you not under medicare advantage as his son just told us. i want to yield back to the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i thank the gentleman. why do i have concern about this. i had the misfortune for going through health care reform 20 years ago, what happened, what happened was we had a large group of people in our state, who didn't have access to quality, afordable health care, we reformed our medicaid
program, opened it up, had an open enrollment time, where we'll have the various plans compete against each other. i heard discussed the public optioned in the debate four years ago. so what happened? what happened to us was our cost tripled in 10 years in that plan. it went up three times. you can see before it's implemented, the costs have already doubled. costs to patients are going up, cost to businesses going up. it was supposed to low they are cost, bend the cost curve down and didn't do that. so we started cutting our providers, we cut our nurses, nurse practitioners, p.a.'s. our practice where we were, we as an obstetrician, as you were, we took emp because
pregnancy is one of those conditions where you either are or you're not. we felt like if those folks needed care, we kept seeing critical care patients like that. but many elective things, orthopedic, dermatology, those kinds of things got cut off. and people would have to drive hours to see a specific, especially a specialist. i saw access get denied in that system when the cost of the whole system went up to where no longer the state could afford it. that's why patients -- patients should be worry. we have, you and i know these numbers, 10,000 people a day, 3.5 million people this year will be medicare age, no p people on the plan with less money and if we have more people and we're not producing more doctors, you can do the math. in 10 years, we're going to have 35-plus more million people on medicare and who is going to care for those people? another thing i want to bring sup that we're not just talking about how doctors are paid.
we're talking about increasing quality. one of the measures we're going to look at when we look at the new payment form, right now, the way you and i were paid when we were in practice was, patient came new york you got a fee for that visit, that's called fee for service medicine. that's going to change. we're going to look at quality outcomes and measures, and i'll give you an example about why that's important. 1% of our medicare recipients use 20% of all medicare dollars. so we have to look at how we manage the care of those patients better. for instance, congestive heart failure. if someone leave thinks hospital, we know that certain metrics are taking place. weights every day, blood pressures, check in with a provider, you can prevent rehospitalizations and save tremored byity, mortality and costs. it increases the quality of life that patient has and the quality of care we have. we're going to be evalue wate
on the outcomes we have and the quality of care we provide our patient, which we all agree should be done. i think coordinating care with, hopefully with better electronic records and i have, i could spend an hour talking about that but if we have a coordinated electronic system where when youed or aerotest at your office or the hospital, we have access to it so that test is not repeated and duplicated that will make a huge difference in cost. i just had a duplicated test myself done, you may have too when you had your procedure, i had a surgical procedure done two weeks ago this last monday and there was some testing on myself that didn't have to be done but because of various rules and regulations and inability to get that information easily it was repeated. it was easier to repeat it and pay for it than go find it. and i think that happens across 300 million people, actually 47 million of us who get medicare now. so we need to do that, better coordinate that information sharing and transparency.
mr. gingrey: if the gentleman will yield for just a second because i wanted to weigh in on that issue of electronic medical records. i'm normally as the good doctor from tennessee knows, walking around in a sling, i should have probably, madam speaker, should have it on right now, madam speaker, but i'm resting my arm on the podium, but i just recently had rotator cuff surgery back home in georgia. madam speaker, i'm blessed with a great physician who did a wonderful job and has a fabulous staff. but going through the process of doing the paperwork, i bet i filled out the exact same form, the exact same form four different times. and that was wasting my time. that was wasting their time. of course what they want to make sure is that no mistakes are made.
obviously they want to make sure, they're operating on the right arm, the correct arm, i should say. and i understand why. i am sure many of you, your parents and your grandparents and you yourself, my colleagues as patients have gone through all of that. but what dr. roe is talking about, and i yield back to him, electronic medical records is indeed in my opinion the wave of the future. and honestly i believe if we had concentrated on that two years ago, to make sure it was fully implemented so that duplication of testing, unnecessary procedures, maybe medications prescribed to which the patient had a dangerous allergy, you really do ultimately save lives and save money by having electronic medical system and then the other thing, if we had had medical liability reform.
the president promised that before this obamacare bill, 2,700 pages was put into law but nothing in there about medical liability reform. here again, and i think the gentleman from tennessee would agree with me on that, but i yield back to him and i wanted to interject my thoughts on electronic medical records. mr. roe: i went from paper to electronic records. it's a difficult process. it would be easier than transferring thousands, tens of thousands of patient charts to it. when you start from scratch, it's a little easier. and certainly i think the electronic eprescribe -- i can't believe he couldn't read my prescription. anyway, they claim they couldn't. this solves that problem.
you literally can put that in very well. i think there are disadvantages to it. overall i think it is the wave of the future. i think you are correct. i am going to bring up something now, let's say we go ahead and we do fix the s.g.r. payment that's based on quality and it's based on outcomes and transparency, hospital readmissions and so forth, all those metrics we talk about to better serve our patients and there will still be fee for service because i'm sure, dr. gingrey, you're rural georgia representative as i am a rural east tennessee representative. i have county that have one doctor. you can't do an accountable care organization or all of these things in a small rural county. so fee for service medicine will still be there for those patients so they can have access in small rural counties and don't have to drive long distances. but let's say we do all of this wonderful stuff and we fixed this payment model and it all looks good, the affordable care
act in it, the independent payment advisory board, and this independent payment advisory board trumps what we just did. all these things that you're going to do and your energy and commerce and thank you very much for what you're doing on that, all these cuts that you see right here -- let me depiff you the data. -- give you the data. mr. gingrey: the green, the top of the line is where we in the congress mitigated these cuts because we can do that. that's what it says in the constitution. we're in charge of the purse strings. and so when a recommendation, as dr. is referring to, madam speaker, recommendation of the cuts, in the pink, below the line over from 2001 to 2012, almost every year, 5%, 3%, 4%, 10%, and in the aggregate, that number just keeps getting
bigger and bigger and what dr. roe is about to explain to us is how we were heretofore able to hit gait by making these -- mitigate by making these changes above the line and say, no, we are not going to cut the doctors, because we know if we do that they will not be there for our parents and our grandparents, ourselves and our children. i yield back. mr. roe: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i think we have just correctly we have, the congress, and using its constitutional authority, has overridden the s.g.r. 15 times since 2002. i think that's the correct data. what i was -- ipab does and the affordable care act, it sets the same metric. it has a real -- a very complicated formula. same as s.g.r. and if you have -- if you have expenditures above those projections, cuts will be made. there is no judicial review, no administrative review.
it takes a 60-vote margin in the senate to override this. let me tell you how important this is, as dr. gingrey pointed out. whether you agree with the plan or don't agree with the plan, there was an article in "the new england journal of medicine" that was published in june of 2011. i recommend this anyone to read. it will take you 30 minutes or less to read it. and they went back with the c.m.s. and looked at the last 25 years and said, what if we had ipab then, what would it do? 21 of the 25 years, cuts would have occurred to providers. i know exactly because of what i have seen in tennessee, i know exactly what would happen. what happened is you cut those providers right there -- as you're seeing up there, dr. gingrey, i can tell you access to care, that entire map of the united states right there would be a bright red because you would not have the providers to take care of those patients.
and that is a concern to me because that is current law. this year those 15 bureaucrats are supposed to be nominated by the president. what happens if he doesn't nominate those 15 people? one person, that's the h.h.s. secretary -- mr. gingrey: secretary. mr. roe: secretary sebelius makes those recommendations. i go on the talk shows like you do. they say in the bill it says you cannot ration care. that's true. this board can't ration care. what it says it can't pay the providers. the hospitals are not included in this but will be in five short years. mr. gingrey: dr. roe, if you yield to me. if you look at the slide, these blue areas, these states where the shortage areas, acute shortage areas like georgia and
florida, this whole map of the united states would be blue. mr. roe: that is correct, dr. gingrey, and i think that's something that unless you are very deeply buried into this and you are a medicare recipient out there today, you don't see this. when i go home and i see my physician friends and talk to my friends who are on medicare, they don't know this has happened or potentially could happen to them. but it can and it will and it is the law right now unless we change the law. i would strongly encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle -- and we have bipartisan support for appealing the ipab is put that constitutional authority back in the hands of the people who are directly responsible and responsive to the american people, us, the representatives, and let us make those changes and the senate the same thing. with that i yield back. mr. gingrey: and i thank the gentleman for yielding back to me. i want to continue a colloquy with him and maybe even ask a
question with him. in regard to the ipab, and dr. roe, madam speaker, explained very clearly how that is a section of obamacare, a very important section which gives these 15 bureaucrats appointed by the president and they basically can now say from year to year, well, the doctors and the hospitals are going to be cut so much reimbursement. these cuts are going to occur and you can no longer, as we showed in the first slide how over the years congress has been able to mitigate because you read the constitution. we, the members of the congress, control the purse strings. and so fortunately we were able
to make these changes into what was suggested, but this ipab board of 15 bureaucrat, they're not making a suggestion. they're telling us what has to be done. and the question i wanted to ask, dr. roe, madam speaker, when this case went before the supreme court, questioning the constitutionality of the law saying that if a governor of the state, like the governor of georgia, governor nathan deal, an 18-year member of this body, by the way, makes the decision not to expand medicaid because the state can't afford it and the state's already going broke on the current medicaid program , is it constitutional for the government, the federal government said that, well, if you want to expand the medicaid program, we're going to make sure you can't participate at
all and all of your current recipients of medicaid in the state of georgia are out on the street. so that was the question that was asked of the supreme court. as well as, was it constitutional to force people to engage in health care if they didn't want to? if they didn't want to purchase -- now, i'm not saying that i'm recommending that they don't, but the question before the supremes was, is it constitutional under the commerce clause to make people engage in commerce if they don't want to do it? well, the supreme said in a very pain, strain, pretzel-like decision that was constitutional. but dr. roe, if you know whether or not this question about ipab was addressed by the supremes, is it constitutional or not, i'm not sure. i'm thinking it wasn't addressed. can you speak to that? mr. roe: that's correct. i had the privilege of being in
the chamber when a good part of this health care debate was going on in front of the supreme court. first time i'd ever been there. fascinating. i totally misread it. as you pointed out, first time in american history that the supreme court said that you had to purchase a good service, even if it's good for you shes -- good for you, that you had to purchase it. we never forced people into commerce before. i think you have the right to make good decisions and bad decisions. if you can afford health insurance you need to purchase it. i have for my family my entire life and would recommend strongly encourage people to prothemselves in that way. but does the government have the right to do it? but this court 5-4 said. the court also said they didn't have the right to force states into expanding their medicaid if they did not want to. and the ipab specifically was not brought up. i believe it will be challenged and should be. no one has standing yet because it hasn't come into effect.
in other words, they haven't issued any rulings or the secretary hasn't to say i've been harmed by that ruling so therefore -- i can bring a case. i yield back. mr. gingrey: so you're saying it's in the law but because it hasn't been applied yet, and in fact, indeed, as dr. roe pointed out, madam speaker, the board, the ipab board, 15 bureaucrats, have not even one of them -- their salary has been set. i think they're scheduled to make $150,000 a year and probably have a car and a driver and health insurance and retirement plan and not too bad a gig if you can get it but so far i don't think any have been appointed. and so that's what dr. roe is referring to, madam speaker, when he says there's not standing yet. if you went to the supreme court they would say the case is not right.
i'm standing here as a physician trying to sound like an attorney. i will get myself in a lot of trouble here in a minute, madam speaker, but dr. roe explained that very well, but i do agree with him, colleagues, i do agree with dr. roe that will be challenged and certainly should be struck down. you look at the constitution, our fifth and sixth graders probably could make that decision and it wouldn't be a 5-4 split decision. it would be 9-0. i yield back. mr. roe: i thank the gentleman for yielding. actually the ipab board is 15 bureaucrats that will make $165,000 with a six-year term and they can be appointed twice to that term. it's something what bothers me about it is, no, it says in the bill you can't ration care. but we are elected representatives, we should be able to go back home and face
our constituents and they're going to say, dr. roe, i have a situation where i can't see my doctor, because they're not accepting patients because this particular board has cut their reimbursements enough that they can't afford to see patients. i think the thing in the affordable care act, another couple of things i want to talk about, not just s.g.r. effects, but there is a tax out there in the affordable care act that hasn't been very well discussed that tax is on individual insurance accounts, for instance, there are companies out there that are self-insured and they are going to get a bill for each person that has insurance, say a family of four or five, they get a family of four or five people, one company in particular, they have no reinsurance, they cover everything, they're totally self-insured but this basically is a tax that will go into a
fund to indemnify insurance companies so they won't have a loss of more than $60,000 a year, this is billions of dollars when you stretch it across the country and these insurance companies are going to not have the loss to encourage them to accept patients on the exchange. that's as wrong as it gets to take a company that's doing everything right, they're going ahead and providing the health insurance coverage for their employees, and po penalize them for that. there are many, many issues in the affordable care act we could talk about but i want to finish any comment thopes sustainable growth rate by saying in the past, since 2001, just so that our viewers out there will understand this, since 2001, your medicare doctor at home has gotten an average increase in his or her payments when you come see them of .29% per year.
.29% per year. when you look at all that graph that dr. gingrey has down there and do all the math, that's the increase, a minimal increase, hasn't come near covering the cost of inflation. again, dr. gingrey, i want to conclude, to say that the major concern i have, and i saw it in my practice, is the cost of care and number two, access to care. and i'm concerned as our patients age and our population ages, and look, a good thing is happening in america. almost every 10 years we live we're adding three years to our life expectancy. in 19 0 -- in 1908, the life expectancy was 47, 48. 1922 when my mother was born, still living, i might add, living alone, by herself, doing great, she has medicare and i'm going to tell my mother now, later today i'm going to call her prescription in, she needed
some medicine called in, doyle that for her today, but i look at her and think about her need for access to care and if it's cut off what does she do? i yield back. mr. gingrey: i thank the gentleman for yielding back to me. he talked about his mom, i stand here thinking about my own mom who is 95 years old and her body is getting a little frail but mom's mind is perfect, perfect, madam speaker. she has enjoyed the benefit of medicare and social security for many years. many years system of these legacy programs are hugely important. they're hugely important to our side of the aisle. madam speaker don't -- my colleagues all thised mei-scare stuff, things you get rhetoric about, they don't care about seniors, they're going to push somebody's grandmother over the cliff in a wheelchair, that's
just a bunch of bull. i think every member of this poddy and every member of congress cares about seniors and cares medicare program. but i also have 13 fwrirn. 13 grandchildren. i want this medicare program to be there for them someday. just like it's been there are mom all these years. so as we talk about these issues, we would do nothing to harm current recipients of medicare and social security. we use the term, the phrase, i guess you'd say, hold harmless. hold harmless any changes that we would make, whether it's the payment system to our doctors and hospitals for providing the care, it would not take away any benefit, it would not cause our current seniors to have to pay a higher premium, a co-pay a deductible, all we're doing is trying to come up with something to save the program
for them but most importantly for these youngsters that are coming behind us. the next two generations. that's what we're all about. my colleague if he has more comments, i would like to refer back to himism know we're getting short of time in the hour so i refer back to the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i do, dr. gingrey. one of the things i know you did and i know i did was come here to this great body and work on the repair of our health care system, improve on it. one of the major pieces of the health care system is our medicare system. i can note tell you the patients i have seen who have benefited, whose lives have been help and saved by the medicare system and by the doctors and nurses and hospitals and other providers who have cared for them. you have too. i've operated on them, seen them get cardiac care. whatever it may be. that have improved the quality and improved and lengthened the
quality of life, not just to live longer but to live better. look at the number of patients we see that our orthopedic friends, that we have that are mobile, that are being active that have had joint replacements and so forth. if you're 80 years old or 75 or 80 years old, you understand that your life is not going to be that much longer. but you also want the quality of that life to be the absolute best it can be and it cannot be if you can't get your knee fixed if you're in pain or your hip fixed if you're in pain. i think one of the things our side of the aisle is committed to, the other side of the aisle may have differences of opinion but i want to be sure we shore up and save this great system of medicare. and we had -- i had a meeting today after lunch about the medicare part d program that was passed by the republicans at some political risk for them. that's been a plan that's actually come in under budget and it came in under budget
because seniors are able to go shop and purchase exactly what they want that meets their needs. that is exactly what we want to do in the medicare system. when our intunlt published, i think next week, we're going to look at a system in which we fix, help fix and save and sustain medicare as you pointed out not only for your mother who is 95 and my mother who is 90, but for my two grandchildren who are 7 and 9. they also deserve the same great system and we're going to have to change it but i think we can make it better. i believe it can be more responsive you see what patients to when they get medicare advantage you saw what they did. there was a little confusion, i admit, when medicare part d first came out. there's no confusion now. people shop for the best value that meets their needs. that's what we should do. let me give you an example. i turned 65 a very short time ago. what happened to me when i turned 65? nothing. i got one day older.
except what happened was i had a plan that had an alphabet soup. a, b, c, d. the day before i had a health care. why when you turn 65 years of age don't you have a health care plan and in that health care plan i can pick out, i don't need fertility coverage at age 65, thank you very much. i think that's the kind of thing that allow seniors to pick what meets their needs at that particular point in their life. not just one size fits all. but what they need. seniors have done that, they do it with everything else in their life. no reason it should change when you hit 65. you can pick out one plan, like you and i do here with the federal employees benefit plan. it will be cheaper, it will be a better plan for them. that's one of the things we're going to be discussing in the next several month whence the republican budget is published. i yield back.
mr. gingrey: madam speaker, as we get near the closing of the hour, i want to just mention several things dr. roe has alluded to these, talking about the medicare advantage and what a beneficial program that was. unfortunately it's now been gutted, literally gutted, cut at least 12%, to create this new program, obamacare, medicare part d, the gentleman from tennessee is talking about the preprescription drug part of medicare that we did my first year, when i first came here in 2003. the medicare modernization. and -- modernization and prescription drug act. seniors for many, many years have wanted to get their prescription drugs covered by medicare but they couldn't. and of course when you have to
go to the drugstore and get five prescriptions filled and most of them are brand name, not generic, some generic, maybe, but these brand name drugs, we finally did this for our senior well, spent maybe $750 billion creating that program and we got criticized for it. it wasn't paid for. we didn't offset by cutting spending somewhere else. i think maybe that criticism under the current system is legitimate but really when you think about it you scored dynamically, you realize if people, senior, all of a sudden could take their blood pressure medicine and not have to worry about a stroke, could take their diabetes medicine and not have to worry ry about eventually having renal failure from diabetes or an amputation,
in the long run what i'm saying, madam speaker is this program, medicare part d, medicare advantage, electronic medical records if we scored things in the right way dynamically, at the end of the day, 10 years 20 years, whatever, we're going to save money. because people are not going to have to have coronary bypass surgery, won't have to have amputations, won't end up the rest of their lives in a nursing home because they've had a catastrophic stroke that left them totally incapacitated. i'm going to yield back to the gentleman from tennessee to close us out. mr. roe: i have one quick statement, dr. gingrey. when you brought this up, in 2003, i want to thank you, because i remember sitting at my desk in my office in 2003 working and i can take this pin right here and in about a minute or a minute and a half, i could write two or three prescriptions that would take up a patient's entire monthly income.
that was a decision patients had to have. republicans stepped up to the plate, made a very difficult decision, maybe we should have some criticism for not having offset bus seniors out there today don't have to make the decision about whether to break this pill in half or don't take it today or whether i buy food and you ran across that in your practice some. i would look in our area, many widows i would see would have a $600 or $700 a month social security check and $100 or $200 a month pension. you write three prescriptions and it's gone. you could easily do that. i want to thank you for your vote and i yield back. mr. gingrey: i thank my colleague and madam speaker, i thank you and i thank the leadership of the republican party for allowing us to bring this information to our colleague in a bipartisan way. we are all about solving these problems. we talk basically about the sustainable growth formula, the
way we pay doctors for volume of care. clearly we have to go to paying for cault of -- for quality of care. we don't have time to get into the details of that today. in the next special order hour, that the doctors caucus leads, we'll get into more details about what we're going to recommend to our committees, to our leadership, to both sides of the aisle in regard to solving this problem. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to remove as co-sponsors from h.r. 423, the following representatives, representative ileana ros-lehtinen, representative janice schakowsky and representative steve stivers on
february 26, 2013, three names were added as co-sponsors that were not intended to be included. mr. coffman: they were meant to be added to another bill i introduced, h.r. 435. their removal is only necessary due to a clerical error on the part of my office rather than a decision by the four offices. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 307, an act to re-authorize certain programs under the public health service act and the federal food, drug and cosmetic act with respect to public security and all-hazard preparedness response and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the chair
recognizes the gentleman from iowa, mr. king, for 30 minutes. mr. king: thank you, madam speaker. it's always my honor to be recognized to speak here on the floor of the united states house of representatives and prifrpbled to har from dr. -- privilege to hear from dr. phil roe. i have a few things on my mind that i'd like to inform you of, madam speaker. i'd start with this. sometimes we need to take a look at the bigger, broader direction that this congress is going and this country is going. one of the things i've learned being involved in the legislative process, and being back in the iowa state senate some years ago, my colleagues said, we are busy doing that which is urgent we are not doing things which are important. and that should frame all the things that we do. we should have a long-term plan. we should have a big picture plan and the things that we do should fit into that. we should be putting the jigsaw
-- the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together. how does that broader view fit? our founding fathers understood it. they knew the perspective of history and knew where they stood in history and acted accordingly. they understood human ufrls. they made deep, long-term, broad, deliberative decisions that were difficult and debate and hard fought out and at the thought those pieces in place for us. it's clear for me when i read through the documents of our founding fathers that they understood history and human nature. it's not as clear to me, madam speaker, when i serve here in this congress and engage in debates here on the floor and in committee and in subcommittee and around in the places where we're often called upon to comment or listen to the comment of others that we're looking at this from the big picture. something that brought this home for me was on a trip i was involved in dealing with
negotiations with the europeans and one of the speakers who was an expert on the middle east made a presentation about the muslim brotherhood. i'm not here to speak about the muslim brotherhood except this. part of his presentation was that the muslim brotherhood is, according to the speaker, a hollow ideology. i put that in quotes. a hollowed ideology. their belief system isn't anchored in those things that are timeless and real. those things like the core. i am going to expand a little bit on the core of faith, the core of human nature, but a hollow ideology. so when he used that term and professed that, how they can't continue, that they'll eventually expire because they're sunk by their own weight rather than void by a belief system saying a full ideology. i began to look at our western civilization and we are here in
the united states, madam speaker, the leaders of western civilization. and so when the allegation of a hollowed ideology is placed on the muslim brotherhood, i wonder, can i make the argument that our ideology wholesome? are the pillars of american civilization carried here and do we strengthen this nation so that the next generation have the same opportunities we had or do we ignore antley wiggle through the day-to--day issues rather than dealing with how we got here? so i look back at the time when i first ran for office and i was putting together a document that i wanted to hand out to my hopefully future constituents and i believe i should put a quote in there that sounded wise, hope knee was wise, and as i sat in my construction office about 1:30 in the
morning and i wrote up this little quote. part of it is naive and another part of it i think is appropriate. and the quote was this. human nature doesn't change. that if we ever get the fundamental structure of government correct, the only reason we need to reconvene our legislative bodies are to make appropriations for coming years or adjustments for new technology. madam speaker, when you think about what that means, if we ever get government right, if we ever get our laws in place, our regulations in place so they reflect and bring about the best of human nature since human nature doesn't change and it heapt changed throughout the generations, then just make the adjustments for appropriations and new technology, that's a correct statement i believe. but it's pretty naive about the reality of coming to a consensus on getting the fundamental structure of law correct, let alone the fundamental structure of regulations correct without regard to the changing technology that's always thrust
upon us here. we are continually going to be in an argument, in a debate about the fundamental human nature, how people react to public policy and about where we like to see society go. now, those of us on my side of the aisle believe that we have values that are timeless. whatever was true 2,000 years ago is true today. and whatever was sinned 2,000 years ago is sinned today. there are many on the other side of the aisle that society isn't going in the right direction unless you're constantly changing thing with regard to the values we're changing, just grasping for change. if change is the mission and they are launched upon that mission, they believe they're doing good because they're eliminating the things that we've had and adopting something different, not necessarily something better. and they don't even argue that it's better but they argue for change. so i would say this, madam speaker, that we have fundamental values, that these
fundamental values have been clear to our founding fathers, are rooted in human history. they go back to the time of adam and eve, but the thing we should keep track here are things our founding fathers looked out as well. that being the rule of law is one of the essential pillars of american exceptionalism. without it we can't be a great country. most of the pillars of american exceptionalism are listed in the bill of rights. our founding fathers got it right. when they guaranteed us in the first amendment, the freedom of speech, religion, assembly and the press, all of that rolled up in one amendment. think what that means. and i would argue especially to our young people, madam speaker, that if we don't exercise these rights and our founding fathers made it very clear, these are god-given rights. thomas jefferson wrote it in the declaration. signed by the hands of those founding fathers that pledged their lives, their for turns and their sacred honor that those rights come from god.
it's the first time that concept had been argued and established and put down as the foundation of this republic. but it's not the beginning of these god-given rights. it is the most -- it is the most defensible version of it. but i would take us back to the originalins of the rule of law which seems to be -- origins of the rule of law which seems to be forgotten here in the house. i tested them in a couple of places, madam speaker. the rule of law, the foundation of the rule of law i would say it was founded by moses, mosaic law. as that law was handed down and we went through that time, the birth of christ, and we saw during that period of time that the time of christ that the greeks and the romans had embraced mosaic law even though they sometimes good-natureuredly teased each other about borrowing their
ideas of the rule of law from moses, it flowed into greek law and roman law. if you look at history, the romans float across western europe all the way up into england and ireland. they established themselves in a big way because of the rule of law. that rule of law was about the time that the dark ages began around 406 a.d., around 410 a.d. when rome was sacked and we saw ourselves go into the dark ages. and i'll say the uncivilized began to destroy anything they saw was the evidence of the civilizations of the greeks and the romans. and as they tore down the buildings, they tore down the symbols, those things that reminded them of the former civilization and out of that came the roman church collected and protected many of those documents of the classics and the irish amongst collected and protected many of the classics of the era, of the greeks and the romans, and we went through
those hundreds of years of the dark ages when people forgot about how to think. about the age of reason. how to apply deductive and inductive reasoning, rational thought. that disappeared and it became the rule of emotion rather than the rule of law. the society driven by instinct and emotion rather than the society that was ordered by rational thought. and how did this come back together? we think we couldn't lose this again together, madam speaker, but it was lost at one time. and it was reconstructed again after hundreds of years. i think about how that was bridged. there are a number of symbols of the bridging of the classical period, of the greeks and the romans, through the dark ages into the middle ages and in today. some of those symbols, one of them would be the cathedral of the dome in colon, germany. if i have my history right -- i didn't commit this to precise memory for the purposes of
delivery but conceptually i will. the origins of that cathedral and that church and that diocese began about 330 a.d. can you imagine before the fall of the roman empire, the christian faith was building gothic edifices in western europe as monuments and symbols of the deep core of their belief system, not a hallowed ideology, but a full ideology, driven by a christian faith and followed on by individual rights that are -- and the foundation of that cathedral of the dome began to be laid around 330 a.d. the architecture plans, for the church that existed today, was about 832 a.d. then they began to build around a few hundred years. around 1100 or so they ran out of money. we haven't emerged out of the dark ages but we're beginning. hundreds of years of dark ages and the construction of this church had stopped. they'd run out of money. the dark ages had suppressed
it. the image and the vision of this not hallow but full ideology had to wither through centuries. and coming out of the dark ages in the 1100's or so they began their fundraising drive again. and for 600 years they raised money to finish the cathedral that was planned and architectural drawings that were put down on parchment about 832 a.d. they picked up those plans 600 years later, the same plans, to complete the church that was completed in the late part of the 19th century and exists today. that's an idea of the length of time that a vision can sustain itself, a not hallow but full ideology can drive itself through the collapse of the roman empire, through the dark ages, through the reconstruction period into the modern era and survive, only bombers that went over it in
world war ii, that's a vision of not a hallowed ideology but a full ideology that's driven by culture, by civilization, by faith. and here we are today, and as i listened to that presentation of the hallowed ideology of the muslim brotherhood, i thought what is our agenda here in congress. does it reflect our value system? does it anchor in these core beliefs that go back in a timeless way? does it recognize that there are human ufrls that never will change -- universals that never will change? does it recognize we are motivated by those human universals and anchored in our value system? i don't know our agenda reflects that these days. it seems as though we're running herky-jerky from one economic issue to another economic issue not with a long-view picture but with the idea we are going to get past this crisis and somehow we are going to put this back together the other side of the crisis. that's the case with the fiscal cliff. that's the case with reordering the issues of sequestration,
continuing resolution and later on the debt ceiling. these are the urgencies that are being addressed sometimes at the expense of the bigger picture. and it would be different if we were dealing with urgencies that were fitting the jigsaw puzz pieces together. i think we're -- puzzle pieces together. i think we're starting to lose sight who we are as a people and starting to lose grips of the fundamentals and there is a big difference in this country that we have not seen in the history of the united states of america, madam speaker, and the difference is this. those of us who believe that we have timeless values and that we need to be reconstructing and refurbishing the american conceptionalism, chizzling those pieces of american conceptualism down and replaces them with something or nothing is preferable to restoring them, i think that's being driven out of the white house and the people that share common cause, madam speaker, with the president of the united states.
. and this movement that he is driving, it dwidse people against each other. when you see this concept of multiconsult ralingism, which is something that i embraced because i believed it was a good tool to respect all people of all races and all ethnicities and whatever their behaviors might be in life. but i began to see that the people on the other side were using it as a tool to divide, not to unite. a tool to put people -- pit people against each other rather than to draw them together and i've seen the president use that in his politics repeatedly to the extent that i've never seen in the history of this country. i did though recognize it when bill clinton was elected president. i wrote an op ed about the method that he used to appoint his cabinet. and that method was, i'm going to put together a multicultural formula and i am going to -- and he said this, i am going to appoint a cabinet that looks like america. closed quote. that would be the quote from
bill clinton when he was -- after he was elected, before he was inaugurated, as he put the cabinet together. and i thought at that time, the president of the united states should be putting together a cabinet that best serves america, regardsless of what they look like. but that wasn't what happened under the clinton administration and i'm not convinced that's what happened under any subsequent administration, republican or democrat, since then. but this president has pitted us against each other along the lines of race and ethnicity and with sometimes little comments that are made that aren't so subtle. and these things divide us as a people rather than unite us as a people. when you hear the promise out there that people won't have to worry about their rent check, won't have to worry about their car payment, that somebody will take care of you, this idea that government's going to step in and lift the burden off of people and take away individual responsibility was something that was pervasive in the last two presidential races, particularly in the last one. and it undermines the efficientsy -- efficiency of
the american people. we should be thinking, madam speaker, about a nation of over 300 million people that has some of the longest and the highest and most sustained unemployment rates in the history of this country, the great depression would be the exception, and a nation with around 313 million people in it, a little over 13 million people have signed up for unemployment, another number of people that approaches that of about 20 million people that are defineably underemployed and that's just a piece of those who were not engaged. when we look at the department of labor's website and we start to add up those unemployed to those who are of working age simply not in the work force, we come to a number of over 100 million americans, madam speaker, that are not contributing to the gross domestic product, that are of the age group that one would think we would get some work out of them. now i recognize in that group of over 100 million there are
some that are retired. some are early retired. some are in school. some are home makers. now i start getting -- it's difficult for me to complete the list of reasons why people would not be contributing to our economy. but we seem to think that 100 million americans not in the work force doesn't seem to trouble very many people in this congress but it's ok for us to be looking at 11 million or 12 million or 20 million people that are in this country unlawfully who are working unlawfully and who are, at least theoretically, taking jobs that americans might take. at one point, madam speaker, i wrote an op ed that laid out an nail ji and it described the united states -- an analogy and it described the united states as analogous to a huge cruise ship, this would be a schaaling cruise ship, with 300 million people on it, and you need some people that will pull on the oars and swab the deck and trim the sails and work in the gali and clean out the
cabins and do those things up in steerage and in first class and wherever else. and somebody there to man the navigation and take care of the cab dane. that's all jobs that -- captain. that's all jobs that happen on a cruiseship and our whole economy and society is tied together, 50 states and 300 million people. what kind of people, if they needed somebody else to pull on the oars or swab the deck or trim the sails oracle the clerk will designate the navigation, what kind of people would say, we have 300 million people on this ship and we've got 100 million of them that are sitting up in steerage, but we need somebody else to do the work that those people in steerage won't do so let's pull off on that this continent and load another 10 or 20 million people on to do the work that people on this cruise ship won't do? no captain in his right mind would sail that ship over there and load a bunch more people on to do work if he had 100 million people up in steerage that have opted out because somebody is taking care of delivering the food, cleaning their cabin and making sure
they have a place where they can stay. that's what happens to human nature when you have a domestic policy that is -- that makes it easy to turn that hammock -- to turn the safety net into a hammock. i have something that phil graham used to discuss about how it's one thing to create a safety net. and we're for a safety net here almost universally. but to turn the safety net into a homock and ask somebody else to come to do work that americans aren't willing to do is a reach i'm not willing to accept. neither do i accept the idea that there's work that americans won't do. every single job category has americans working it in -- in it in a majority of that job category. we saw some that have data today, madam speaker. i'd say this instead. we are a country that's richer than any country ever in the history of the world. we have more technology than ever in the history of the world. we have more cap -- capital created. we have more human capital, more know-how, more can-do
people out there to pull on the roars and trim the sails and navigate the ship and do all of the things that need to happen. this country has all of those assets and all of those resources in greater number and supply by any measure than any civilization in the history of the world. and, madam speaker, we can't live within our means? we have to run a deficit of $1 trillion to $1.2 trillion and borrow money from the chinese and the saudis and by the way about half of this debt is held by domestic debt, the american people, that are buying bonds. but a nation that's the richest nation, the richest culture, the richest economy, the richest civilization in the history of the world has to borrow over $1 trillion a year just to sustain this lifestyle that we have, while we have 100 million, 1/3 of our population, that is of working age that's not contributing to the gross domestic product. think of what that means. think how posterity will judge us if we don't step up to our
responsibilities, yet our -- get our spending under control, bring more of the people into the work force that are i'd say living off of public benefits. i would be willing to submit that you won't find someone on the streets of america that can name for you all of the means-tested welfare programs, federal programs that are means-tested, that we have. that number used to be 72. then it went to 80. this is a number that has been calculated and pulled together by robert recter of the heritage foundation and i ask him, you know, eyesed to quote you at 72. now you say 80. what happened? he said, i found some more. i said is 80 the finite number? 80 different means-tested federal welfare programs? and he said, well, there are at least 80. why don't you say a minimum of 80? so 80, a minimum of 80 different means-tested federal welfare programs, some of them competing with each other, and no one can list them from memory and no one has the capability of understanding how
they interrelate with each other, nor how they motivate or demotivate the people that they're designed to help. what kind of a country would do that? and why would we allow, why would we have 100 million people of working age not in our work force while we're running up a debt of 1 -- $1 -- $1.2 trillion a year, and we've seen the per capita national debt now for a baby born in the united states, babies born today, their share of the national debt is $53,000. it went over $53,000 just the other day. so welcome to the world, you're an american citizen, born here by birth right citizenship, but you don't have a right not to contribute to paying off the national debt. your share is $53,000. $53,000. what kind of a country would do that and not tighten its belt and not put some of its people to work? and then i end up with these economic discussions, madam speaker, that come from smart people that will say, well, the labor force should be
determined by supply and demand. why don't we let human migration follow where the jobs are? well, the answer to that is, millton friedman had the answer to that, he said, you cannot have open borders and a welfare system, especially one that is as generous as our welfare system is. and so which one can you fix? can you fix the border problem? can you fix the welfare program? i'd like to fix them both, madam speaker. but one of them's a little easier than the other. we can control the borders and shut off the jobs magnet easier than we can make the case that we should be tightening down the welfare system in this country. but we need to do both, we need to bring this country back within its means. the entitlement system that's out there that fits within those 80 different means-tested welfare programs needs to be completely re-examined. i think congressman louie gohmert is correct when he says that we need to put all of the welfare into a single committee so they're responsible for all of the programs that we have. it's the only way we can begin to get a handle on. it the committee of jurisdiction is scattered out
through multiple committees. but the big picture that i started to talk about in the beginning, madam speaker, is this. that we need to identify the pillars of american exceptionalism, we need to refurbish those pillars and the identification will become the things we've inherited from the orins of western civilization. mow sake law, flowed through greek and roman law, the magna carta that was signed in 1215 that established individual freedom from the monarch or the despot, that no subject could be -- let's say no one other than a serf at that time could be punished arbitrarily. they had to have the right and the protection of the rule of law. and we have these guarantees in our constitution of freedom of speech. and i'm exercising it now, madam speaker. and i encourage all to do that. if we stopped exercising freedom of speech we would eventually lose it because it would be defined away from us.
freedom of religion fits the same category. if we don't exercise our freedom of religion it becomes redefined away from us. how about freedom of the press? and i would submit, madam speaker, that those who abuse freedom of press, those who do not journalistic integrity are undermining our first amendment right. if every newspaper out there printed things that they knew were dishonest, if they just drove purely a political agenda on the front page, on the side where they're held accountable for journalism, or in their commentary when they print falsehood as fact, it undermines all of our freedom. because when someone abuses the freedom, they diminish that freedom for all of us. now, think in terms of this. if that's hard to understand for some folks, madam speaker, i put it this way. if everybody went out there and abused the second amendment right, it wouldn't be long and we wouldn't have the right to keep and bear arms regardless of what the constitution says. we have to utilize those
rights, we have to exercise them in a responsible way. the abuse of god-given rights, the abuse of these rights and especially in the bill of rights undermines the rights that we have. but we do have freedom of speech, religion and the press and assembly. and if we stopped exercising then we would lose them. and we have the right to keep and bear arms. not for hunting, not for target, not for self-defense and not for collection. all of those four reasons to keep and bear arms are, i'll say, they're additional rights, it's just the poe bow -- it's just the bonus that comes along with it because our founding fathers understood that a well-armed populous was protection against tyranny and i agree with that and defend the second amendment because that is what keeps us from defending ourselves against tyrants. but you can go on up through the bill of rights. the right to property in the fifth amendment. private property should not be
take without just compensation. public use was taken out of it. i think one day the supreme court, if we raise an adequate objection, will have to revisit that decision. it was an unjust decision that didn't reflect the language in the fifth amendment. but property rights is another core of american exceptionalism. without these rights, freedom of speech, religion and the press and the second amendment rights to keep and bear arms, without property rights, without being tried by a jury of our peers and a right to face our accusers, without the concepts of federalism and these enumerated powers in the constitution that being reserved for the congress and the balance of them that revert to the states or the people respectively, without those components we would not emerge, we would not have emerged as a country that we are. and we can't sustain ourselves as a country that we are to be if we don't protect those pillars of american exceptionalism. and in the core of those pillars of american exceptionalism is, as i said
earlier, the rule of law. when the rule of law is usurped by a king or a despot or a president of the united states it deminute -- it diminished us all and it diminishes the potential destiny of the united states of america. and we've seen, as the president of the united states has decided that he will enforce the law that he sees fit and he will not enforce the law that he doesn't agree with and it's clear in a number of ways, madam speaker, the president suspended no child left behind. he won't enforce that. essentially has waived it off the books. . he took an oath and it's in the constitution and he taught constitutional law. but he similarly set aside no child left behind. isn't the issue i'm advocating here, is the president must take care that the laws are faithfully executed.
behind that, he suspended welfare to work. in the middle 1990's, there were three times that president clinton vetoed the welfare reform law and signed it and took credit for it. that's politics. wubr one component was welfare to work. of all of our programs that we have, minimum of 80, of all of them, there's only one, madam speaker, that requires work. that one is the tanf program and it says in there that it specifically prohibits the president from suspending or waiving the work requirement. the president did so any way. and sticking with this rule of law that has been so damaged by our president, it's also true with immigration law. the immigration law that requires that people who are in violation of it be put into the process for deportation. the president has decided he
won't do that. it's one thing to have prlal discretion. the executive branch has to decide which highest priorities are there for the resources of law enforcement. but when the executive branch, the discretion is always on an individual basis, not on a group basis, not on a clear-the-board basis. what has the president done? he has issued a memorandum written by secretary napolitano by the department of homeland security and said we aren't going to enforce immigration laugs against people -- has my time expired? ask indulgence to make a concluding sentence here and i didn't see that coming here, madam speaker. i'm here to endorse the rule of law and stand up and defend the constitution and i appreciate your attention. and i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, for 30 minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, madam speaker. now that the sequestration has taken place that we were told a year and a half ago would not. the president said during the debates last fall said would not. but they have taken place. as the president traveled around the country demonizing us back here hoping for a better way to cut, hoping for something to be reached in the way of an agreement that would have given more flex built, but that didn't happen and people too busy going off and doing other things to be here in washington with us and work out some kind of an agreement. one bit of good news, though,
you know we had heard from the secretary of homeland security that the lines would be long in the airport. there would be delays. there would be all kinds of problems. initially, it was announced that f.a.a. officials would be pulled from between 150 to 200 arptse. they were going to make americans feel as much pain as possible. but with all the tough news for travelers, we can all be comforted. this is dated march 5, story by elizabeth harrington. the t.s.a. was able to get a deal to buy new uniforms. the lines will be longer, traveling, we are told by homeland security, they are going to make america feel pain because we managed to cut less than 2% of government spending
when it's increased over 20% the last four years, when every american who works, pays taxes, had their taxes go up 2% on january 1. this was merely taxes going up 2%, giving basically a tax on government, 2%. same one america suffered, same amount. but we have officials in this administration who say we can't stand a 2% cut. heck, the house itself, our budgets have been cut 11.5% over the last two years and we did it. and you have t.s.a., f.a.a. and homeland security, we can't live with a 2% cut like every american taxpayer has.
so at least we know that t.s.a. will have new uniforms while the lines are getting longer. also worth noting, a story here by terance jeffrey, march 4 of this year, that president obama borrowed six times as much in february as the sequestered cuts all year. i recall in 2006, the last year republicans were in the majority for speaker pelosi took the gavel. democrats on this side of the aisle appropriately beat up republicans because we had a budget -- we had an appropriations that year that spent $160 billion more than we brought in and we should have gotten it imbalance and they were right. i would have never have dreamed that within a few years that with the democrat in the white
house and with a democratic majority in the house, democratic majority in the senate, that they wouldn't spend 1 -- $160 billion. they would spend $1.6 trillion more than we took in. and here with all the gloom and doom and claims about how bad it's going to be, and oh, it's going to be horrible, we find out the president borrowed $253.5 billion in one month, shortest month of the year in february, six times more than the sequester was, with all the complaints. interesting story here in townhall.com by heather ginsberg, president obama's golf trip could have saved furnish -- furloughed jobs and how much it cost for the loss golf outing.
that's pretty tragic. i think we have one of the most gracious and graceful first ladies that we've ever had. she made a wonderful quote previously. she said, quote, this is what the white house is all about. it's the people's house. it's a place that is steeped in history. but it's also a place where everyone should feel welcome and that's why my husband and i have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can, that was our first lady. a wonderful, wonderful position to take. i'm sure she was not consulted today when the white house in its frustration that all of us in congress -- the cut we're having in congress will put us around 20% cut of our budget in the house. senate hasn't cut themselves
11.5%. but we will have cut every office, at least 20% in three years' time. but the president, even though his budget, his government has grown about 20% in four years could not live with just pulling back 2% of that 20% increase. so today, as the story indicates from "today" -- this is from the "washington examiner," never say the white house isn't affected by sequestration. the visitors' office just notified congress that tours of the white house are canceled until further notice. quote, due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that the white house tours will be canceled effective saturday, march 9, 2013, until
further notice, unquote. the white house e mailed the legislative office explains, unfortunately, and this is a quote, unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours and we regret having to take this particular action especially during the popular spring touring season, unquote. well, knowing that the story reports here, we could have had 341 federal employees that could have kept their jobs and not been furloughed if the president did not take his last golf outing. seems to me that there are so many people coming to washington , it appears to me as many as democrats as republicans, possibly more, and they have wanted, they have counted on the quote from the first lady. they were so looking forward to touring the white house.
i filed an amendment with the rules committee this afternoon so that we can work together. the amendment to the continuing resolution of funds -- and i'm hoping, begging and pleading that the rules committee will make this amendment in order. amendment to house resolution 933, offered by mr. gohmert of texas. at the end of division 7 before the short title, insert the following, none of the funds made available by division of this act may be used to transport the president to or from a golf course until public tours of the white house resume. that way we will both work together so the president will not be able to take a golf outing that causes 341 more federal officials to be furloughed and lose their job at least temporarily and then perhaps by avoiding furloughing all of these federal employees,
we will be able to get the democrats and republicans across america, people that don't even have a party, because they are just americans, they will be able to get their tour of the white house and all it will cost is one or two trips less. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the house will stand in recess s
i think i would point you to a couple of things. one is we believe that a c.r. should be practical, nonpolitical and subject with the budget control act. it is our understanding, at least in the last point, that the c.r. in question is consist went the level of the -- levels of the but the control act. i would await for a further response from us as our experts
examine it and make aelse isments about it. but our interest is not in, you know, as long as these goals are met, that we do not, you know, go head-long into mohr manufacturing crisis. we are focused on trying to find commonsense solutions to the challenges that face us. the president has when it comes to deficit reduction which is the issue on the table. consistently put forward. commonsense, middle of the road solutions that represent balance and have met republicans halfway and he will continue to pursue that with the congress as we try to address those -- both the sequester and the broader challenge of reducing our deficit in a way that's fair and that puts us on a fiscally sustainable path. but for more on the c.r., we'll have to wait while we assess it. >> a number of republican senators have said that the president reached out to them on the sequester.
>> the president is engaging with lawmakers of both parties and will continue to do so. he stood before you on i believe it was friday and talked about the need for bipartisan work around -- on common ground when it comes to reducing our deficit. we should be able to achieve that. he put forward a proposal that addresses the need for entitlement reform and a very serious way. as parent of a comprehensive package that includes tax reform, that would close loopholes and cap deductions in way that speaker boehner said was his position just two months ago. so both sides, if you will, are for entitlement reform and tax reform and really one of the issues that seems to be still a matter of debate is what do you do with the revenue gained from improving our tax code, closing unnecessary loopholes, eliminating special breaks for the well connected and well off?
do you take that and convert it into tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy or do you apply it to deficit reduction? which is, you know, a conservative and reasonable position to have. that's the president's position. so he is reaching out and talking to members about a variety of issues, not just our fiscal challenges, but certainly the fiscal issues are among the issues he's talking about with lawmakers. >> should the reaching out be -- i guess thought of in any way as perhaps the president or the white house not being very comfortable with what the house is talking about right now? terms of extending c.r.? this might have evolved into one of those manufactured crisis? >> i wouldn't link the c.r., which is a measure that again, if it meets the test that i talked about, would simply continue to fund the government and avoid a government shutdown, it does not in any way -- would not in any way resolve the challenges about the sequester or more broadly how to further reduce the deficit, so we put ourselves on
a fiscally sustainable path by achieving that $4 trillion-plus goal over 10 years of deficit reduction. that work remains to be done. and the president is interested in, you know, finding the members of the caucuses common sense and to work with them to bring about a resolution to this challenge. we should be able to do it. he has put forward and finally i think there's some recognition here although occasionally you see some republican leaders insist the president doesn't have a plan. perhaps they don't have the internet in those offices. but the plan is available to all of you, it has been -- it has lived in various incarnations, including the president's submission to the supercommittee, the president's budget as well as the president's proposal to speaker boehner at the end of the year. which remains on the table and available to be taken up. and we hope it is. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> jay carney from the briefing earlier today. the house comes back tomorrow, 10:00 a.m. eastern, and they will begin work on the resolution funding the federal government through the remaining six months of fiscal year 2013. the so-called continuing resolution. the topic came up today during a briefing with speaker john boehner and other republican -- house republican members. here's part of what he had to said say. >> our goal is to cut spending, not shut down the government. that's why we will move the c.r. this week and we hope the senate will take this bill up and move it quickly. the president on friday agreed that there's no reason to get into some debate about shutting down the government. it's just not smart -- a smart thing to do. >> can you handle if they do -- [inaudible] >> i'm not going to predict what the senate will or won't do with our bill but i would hope they would take it up expeditiously and pass it. >> speaker boehner, for all intents and purposes it looks like president obama's putting up -- >> you need a hair cut by the way. [laughter]
>> it's looking like he's putting up a white flag in terms of these budget battles. that he wants to move on to other issues such as immigration and possibly gun chrome. what do you feel about that and what's the appetite for those two issues in the house of representatives at this time? >> because of the president's reluctance to cut spending, we've been caught in this battle of having clips and having these deadlines. this is no way to run a government. but until the president gets serious about the serious structural spending program that we have, we're going to have to deal with it. i suggested to the president the other day, the best thing we can do is find some way to get the senate to finally do their work, have a large agreement that begins to address this spending problem, puts us on a path to balance the budget over the next 10 years and get out of this cliff business.
it's not good for the country, for us to continue to go through this. and i would also agree that because we've had all of these fiscal cliff issues, there are a lot of other issues that the american people want us to address. next week we'll be addressing the skills act where we take these job training, retraining programs, simplify them, combine them so that we can put more effort into training people for the jobs that the american businesses have available today. there are a lot of other things that we need to do. >> immigration and gun control though, how's that look? we have a long list of things that we'd like to deal with. i'm sure his list is a little different than ours. but, listen, made it clear on immigration, we need to continue to work in a bipartisan fashion like we have been to deal with in very complex issue. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> here's a look at our primetime schedules on the c-span networks. starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern,
allen kruger talks about fiscal policy and ways to reduce the national debt on c-span 2. the house foreign affairs committee holds a hearing on north korea's nuclear program. and the effectiveness of sanctions. and on c-span 3, testimony from agriculture secretary tom vilsack on the state of the rural economy. all these programs tonight starting at 8:00 eastern on the c-span networks. tomorrow, attorney generic holder testifies on oversight issues at the justice department. it will be before the senate judiciary committee. you can see that tomorrow beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span 3. earlier today the head of military operation notice middle east and central asia said the u.s. would leave 13,600 troops in afghanistan after 2014. we also hear about the danger of iran's nuclear program. and the future of operations in iraq. this is the senate armed services committee from earlier today. the hearing's three hours.
>> good morning, everybody. this morning's hearing is the first in our annual series of posture hearings that the combatant commanders, to receive testimony on the military strategy and operational requirements in their areas of responsibility. our witnesses are two extraordinary military leaders. general james matusz, commander u.s. central command, and admiral bill mcraven, commander u.s. special operations command. on behalf of our members, please pass along to the men and women serving in both areas
our sincere gratitude for their dedication and sacrifices and we also thank their families. whose support is so essential to the well-being of their loved ones, to the well-being of our nation. general mat us, this is your third and your last posture hearing before this committee. and this committee is favorably reported out your successor, general lloyd austin, to the full senate. general, we want to thank you for your more than 40 years of military service and your distinguished leadership of our armed forces. this year's posture hearings, with the combatant commanders, are being held under the spector of budget sequestration. which threatens to impose arbitrary cuts on our military forces unrelated to our national security requirements. already sequestration is having an operational impact in the sent comarea with the defense department's postponement of the deployment of the u.s.s. hairy truman aircraft carrier
to the persian gulf. i hope general mattis and admiral mccraven will talk about the risks and associated with sequestration and the expiration of the continuing resolution. our transition strategy in afghanistan is entering a critical phase in the coming months. excuse me. afghan forces will move into the lead for security throughout afghanistan beginning this spring. this transition has been under way for some time. and afghan forces are already in charge of security for more than 85% of the afghan people. this shift to an afghan security lead is exempified by the statistic that in 2012 afghan forces for the first time suffered more casualties than coalition forces, as afghan security forces are stepping up, coalition forces
are shifting to a support role. deploying security force assistance teams to advise and assist afghan units throughout the end of 2014, when the mission ends. casualties are down. and during a one-month stretch from mid january to mid february of this year, forces suffered no fatalities. but it seems the bad news out of afghanistan is splashed across the headlines while good news barely makes a ripple. the press gave wide coverage in december to the defense department report that found only one of 23 afghan brigades was rated as independent. yet when senator reid and i visited afghanistan in january and talked to our regional commanders, we learned that afghan forces in the volatile and critical east region have been successfully conducting
over 85% of the operations unilaterally, without coalition forces even being present. afghans want their own forces, providing for their security. and they have confidence in those forces. general mattis, the committee would be interested in your assessment of whether our mission in afghanistan is succeeding, whether our transition plan is on track and whether the afghan forces will be ready this spring to assume the lead for protecting the afghan people, excuse me, throughout the country. last month president obama announced plans for withdrawing by february of next year. 34,000 of the 66,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan. as important as the size of the
cuts in u.s. troop levels over the coming year is, the pace of those reductions is also important. the president has previously stated that cuts in u.s. forces would continue at a steady pace after the recovery of the u.s. surge force at the end of last summer. it's now being reported that the bulk of their withdrawl of the 34,000 troops is likely to occur next winter, after the 2013 fighting season. and we need to understand what the pace of u.s. troop withdrawal will look like and how it fits with the overall transition strategy. looking ahead, significant challenges in afghanistan remain. fundamental to the country's stability will be a demonstrated commitment by the united states and the international community to an enduring relationship with afghanistan. i am encouraged by reports that nato defense ministers recently
reconsidered plans to cut afghan security forces by 1/3 after 2014 and are now considering maintaining those forces at 352,000, at least through 2018. that sends an important signal of commitment to the afghan people, to the taliban and to afghanistan's neighbors. and pakistan needs to recognize that an unstable afghanistan is not in its interests and pakistan's continuing failure to address the safe havens for u.s. ises conducting cross-border -- insurgencies conducting cross-border attacks into afghanistan will make it impossible for the united states to have a normal relationship with pakistan. in addition, the government of afghanistan needs to address its failure to deliver services and also the rampant corruption that undermines the afghanistan
people's faith in their government's institutions. the sencom oo also presents other vexing challenges. iran's continuing pursuit of its nuclear program is one of the most significant national security issues of this day. i believe most of the members of this committee share president obama's view that all options, including military options, need to remain on the table and that preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is not only our policy but that we are determined to achieve that policy goal. iran is also actively expending -- expanding their threat network that has promoted violence across the region in yemen, gaza, sudan, syria, iraq and elsewhere. iran continues to provide financial and material support through the revolutionary guard in to groups seeking to overthrow or undermine
governments or terrorize innocent civilians. general mattis and admiral mccraven, you are the two commanders most involved in confronting these current challenges and planning for contingencies involving iran. we look forward to hearing your views on these matters. in syria, the death toll continues to rise daily. the mass atrocities committed by the assad regime over the past two years have solidified the commitment of all but a few in the international community that the required outcome in syria is that assad must go. the united states is the largest contributor of nonlethal and humanitarian aid to the international response efforts, but these contributions have not been enough. general mattis, the committee looks forward to hearing your views on the situation in syria and to learn of what our closest allies in the region say about the possibility of
extending additional aid to the opposition. the committee is also interested in our commander's reactions to recent reports about u.s. counterterrorism operations and whether more of these counterterrorism operations should be conducted under title 10 authorities. for example, secretary panetta said recently, quote, the advantage to it is that it becomes much more transparent in terms of what we're doing, closed quote. he's referring of course to more counterterrorism operations being conducted under title 10 authorities rather than title 15. john brennan in his recent confirmation hearing to be director of the c.i.a. stated that, quote, the c.i.a. should not be doing traditional military activities and operations and noted that, quote, on the counterterrorism front there are things the agency has been involved in since 9/11 that in fact had been a bit of an be aeration
from its traditional role, closed quote. beyond the current conflict in afghanistan and the fight against al qaeda and its affiliates elsewhere, admirable mccraven has spent significant time developing his vision for the future of special operations. in light of the continuing high demand for special operations throughout the world and the focus of last year's defense strategic guidance on innovative, low cost and small footprint approaches to achieve additional -- excuse me, to achieve national security objectives, admiral mccraven has rightly focused on the need to develop greater capabilities within our special operations forces, tone gauge with partner nation forces -- to engage with partner nation forces with the goal of confronting mutual security challenges before they become threaten -- threats to the u.s. or our interests overseas. what the misdemeanor airline calls enhancing the global --
what the admiral calls enhancing the global special operations network. the committee looks forward to hearing about any changes to existing authorities that you believe would help you be more effective in these areas. our special operations personnel and their families continue to face the highest operational tempo in their history. i understand they have documented the negative impact of these repeated, high-stress deployments, including ancrease in marital problems, substance abuse and suicides. and now has a standing task force dedicated to helping special operators and their families deal with these issues. admiral, the committee would appreciate your assessment on the state of your forces and the adequacy of the support provided by the military services to address the unique challenges in the special operations community. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, a lot of the things you covered i was going to, so i'll just paraphrase
some of the concerns. first of all, i appreciated the opportunity to meet with both of you and also appreciate your long years of service. but i think you'd have to agree, as we discussed, you probably have not faced a situation that you're facing today, we've already sustained and sequestration coming up, with the c.r. problems that are there, it is in fact unprecedented. i anticipate that this might be a possibility about six weeks ago. we introduced legislation that would allow the service chiefs to make determinations as opposed to just a straight cut that would women come with sequestration -- that would come with sequestration. i called all five service chiefs, include the guard, and asked them, if we were in a position where -- in taking the same top line, the cuts that are mandated for the military,
if you could take that and operate within that and make determinations as to where those cuts would be, would that be less devastating than if you just went ahead and did it with a straight line cuts? they all said yes. the second question i asked them is, you know, do you have time to do that? between now and the next six weeks? as we approach the first of march. and they assured me that they did. so we're kind of looking at that right now. i'm hoping that we'll be able to pass this and give that added ability to make determinations within the same amount of money that would be less devastating. general mattis, i think we look at sencom, one of the biggest problems there as we've talked about is iran. the influence continues to spread across the middle east into africa, european and the -- europe and pat civic. they're developing more complex antiaccess and antidenial
weapons than ever before. we all know that our unclassified intelligence said way back in 2007 that they are gaining this capability, nuclear capability, and they should have it by -- along with the delivery system by 2015. they're having a lot of influence over the surrounding areas. assad in syria is getting a lot of the stuff from iran. the flow of syrian refugees into jordan and lebanon will probably exceed more than a million as quickly as june of this year. so all of these problems are out there and we've talked about these and we know how serious it is and it is unprecedented. admiral mccraven, you play an instrumental role in shaping our global counterterrorism campaign. despite our successes in the battlefield, al qaeda and affiliated terrorist organizations remain resilient and have developed sophisticated networks that
transcend national borders. so you've both got your work cut out for you and i can't think of two better people to take on this huge responsibility right now than the two of you. and i appreciate very much your service and what you're going to be rendering in this, that addresses our problems today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator. general mattis, let's start with you. >> mr. chairman, and ranking member inhofe, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify. i have submitted a written statement, request it to be accepted for the record. >> it will be. >> it's my privilege to appear alongside admiral bill mccraven. we've worked together for many -- mcraven. we've worked together for many years and continue to do. so in the middle east we confront what is a significant risk to our interest in the region, specifically a perceived lack of enduring u.s. commitment. to counter this misperception, we must clearly communicate our intent and demonstrate our support through tangible
actions. in afghanistan we are conducting a steady and deliberate transition. u.s. leadership among 50 nations fighting together in the largest wartime coalition in modern history provide continued support of the afghan security forces as they set conditions for their long-term success. iran remains the single most significant regional threat to stability and prosperity. reckless behavior and rhetoric characterize a leadership that cannot win the affection of its own people or the respect of any responsible nation in the region. iran's continued support to the murderous assad regime in syria, coupled with its maligned activities in iraq, afghanistan, lebanon, bahrain, yemen and gaza and globaly in sudan, turkey, azerbaijan, thailand, india, georgia, bulgaria, nye jeer contraia and even here in -- nigeria and even here in washington, d.c.,
in the attempt to kill the saudi ambassador, and elsewhere in the world, as well as in the cyberdomain, raises a risk of iran an miscalculation that could spark a disastrous conflict. as we address the very real challenges we collectively face, i am confident u.s. central command will continue working by, with and through our regional partners to ensure a measure of stability in the region. our military to military engagements, security cooperation efforts, exercise programs and information operations will continue to need your support, including innovative and flexible authorities and the necessary funds so we can continue doing what is required to protect u.s. national security interests. as our nation confronts a period of fiscal austerity, our ability to adapt our ways and means to continue to meet our operational areas are impacted by three key factors.
first, the need for budget certainty. right now i do not have any budget certainty. second, my need for time to adapt to reduced budgets and take the cuts smartly. specifically my third request is for flexibility to determine where to shift available funds in a manner that reduces risk and consistent with the intent of congress and of course much of that flexibility must be granted to the service chiefs. with your support and with the continued devotion to duty of our troops and the commitment of our military families, we will stand by our friends to maintain a measure of reasonable stability in defense of our values and our interests. i look forward, mr. chairman, to answering your questions. >> thank you very much, general. admiral. >> good morning. mr. chairman, ranking member inhofe, distinguished members of the committee, i also appreciate the opportunity to address the committee today and talk about the magnificent work being accomplished around the
globe by the men and women of the u.s. special operations command and i have also submitted a statement for the record. >> thank you. >> before i begin however i would like to recognize my colleague, my mentor and my friend, general jim mattis. in the coming months, mattis will be completing a 41-year career in the service of our country. during that time he has fought in every major conflict in his era. he has led soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines with a degree of caring, passion and professionalism that would make every american proud. mattis has always been known for two things. his incredible operational ac men and his candor. i know of no other general who is as well versed in the art of war and no other man who speaks his mind the way jim mattis does. every warrior who has ever served by his side feels honored and privileged to have done so and i count myself in that group.
jim, you have been particularly supportive of the men and women of special operations and on behalf of all those great warriors and americans everywhere, i salute you for your service and your sacrifice to this nation. it has been my distinct honor to have served with you. mr. chairman, this is my second opportunity to address this committee since i took command in the summer of 2011. since that time i'm proud to say we have continued the great work initiated by my predecessor and at the same time we have adamented to the changing strategic and fiscal environment to keep relevant now and in the future. in afghanistan we developed a new soft structure which brought it into alignment. this has allowed the special operations forces to have a common view of the enemy and synchronize our resolve. it has made soft even more effective than ever before. to partner with our afghan
partners, we have trained afghan security forces so they can stand on their own against this determined threat. in addition to afghanistan special operation forces are in 78 countries around the world, at the request of those nations, we're helping to build their capacity and strengthen our partnership. in the 2012 defense strategic guidance, former secretary panetta wrote, we are shaping a joint force for the future that will be smaller and leaner, but will be agile, flexible, ready and technologically advanced. it will have cutting-edge capabilities, exploring our technology, joint and network advantage. it will be led by the highest quality battle-tested professionals. it will have a global presence, strengthening alliances and partnerships across all regions. i believe the secretary's words speak to the core capabilities of s.o.c. and therefore socom is working with joint chiefs to
ensure we are postured now and into the future to meet the objectives of this strategy. finally, i have made the caring of our -- caring for our force and their families my top priority. in the past year my command sergeant major and i have met with soldiers and their families from around the interpriles. we have listened to their -- enterprise. we have listened to their concerns and we are aggressively implementing programs and plans to help for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the force. we have a professional and moral obligation to take care of our warriors and their families and we greatly appreciate the support of this committee and other members on the hill in our efforts to take care of these men and women. thank you again for your commitment to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines and civilians for the department of defense and specifically for those great warriors who make up the special operations command. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you so much, admiral. we're going to have a we're going to have a seven-minute first-round.